According to the deputy governor, the Taliban stormed Sheberghan city in Jawzjan on Saturday, making it the second Afghan provincial capital to fall to the insurgents in less than 24 hours. Jawzjan deputy governor Qader Malia told AFP that “government forces and officials had withdrawn to the airport.” Abdul Rashid Dostum, a legendary warlord who just returned to Afghanistan after medical treatment in Turkey, calls the city home.
Since initiating a series of offensives in May to coincide with the start of the final withdrawal of foreign troops, the Taliban have taken control of wide swaths of rural Afghanistan.
According to its deputy governor, the Taliban took Zaranj city in Nimroz “without a fight,” making it the first provincial capital taken by the terrorists. Several sources informed AFP that there was further resistance in Sheberghan, but a Dostum aide said the city had been seized.