Afghan provincial chief: key northern city Mazar-i-Sharif falls to Taliban

Senior council official says Afghan troops abandoned their equipment and left for the Uzbekistan border

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Taliban fighters have captured Mazar-i-Sharif, the Afghan government’s last northern stronghold, a senior local government official has said.

Security forces have fled the city for the Uzbekistan border, a provincial official said on Saturday.

“The Taliban have taken control of Mazar-i-Sharif,” said Afzal Hadid, head of the Balkh provincial council.

He said the city appeared to have fallen without a fight and that soldiers abandoned their equipment and travelled towards the border crossing.

“All security forces have left Mazar city,” he said.

Sporadic clashes were still taking place in one area outside the city centre, he said.

Updated: August 15th 2021, 11:01 AM