Afghan conflict: After seizing Jalalabad, Taliban captures all key cities except Kabul
It followed the seizure of the government's northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif just hours earlier. Kabul remains the only isolated capital to be conquered.
With Taliban making fresh inroads into Afghanistan each passing day, the insurgents moved closer to retaking full control of Afghanistan, by capturing Jalalabad, a key eastern city, without a fight.
It followed the seizure of the government's northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif just hours earlier.
Kabul remains the only isolated capital to be conquered. President Ashraf Ghani's government appears to be left with few options -- either prepare for a bloody fight for the capital or capitulate as the Taliban effectively surrounded Kabul.
"We woke up this morning to the Taliban white flags all over the city. They entered without fighting," said Jalalabad resident Ahmad Wali told a news agency confirming a claim on social media made by the Taliban.
According to reports, Taliban militants are merely 11 km away from Kabul and many fear that the Islamist terror outfit may launch an assault on Kabul anytime soon.
Despite its rapid advances, creating mayhem and killing thousands, the Islamist terrorist group released a statement in which it has vowed to protect lives, honour and create a peaceful and secure environment for its “beloved nation”.
“The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) will, as always, protect their life, property and honour and create a peaceful and secure environment for its beloved nation,” the statement read according to Reuters.
The hardline militants collapsed the Afghan armed forces, which left the US with no choice but to send 1,000 more troops to aid evacuation of embassy employees in Kabul and thousands of Afghans who worked for American forces.
What happened in Jalalabad?
Reports on Sunday morning stated the Taliban seized the city, the capital of Nangarhar province, without a shot being fired as the Governor surrendered.
"There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban," a local Afghan official told Reuters news agency.
"Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives."
Journalist Tariq Ghazniwal tweeted images purportedly showing the provincial governor handing over control to the Taliban.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday (August 14) made his first public appearance after the Islamist terror outfit, Taliban, intensified its offensive.
President called for the remobilisation of armed forces, following their crushing defeat at the hands of the Taliban.
Ashraf Ghani said, “Under the current situation, remobilization of the security and defence forces are our top priority and required measures are underway for this purpose.”
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