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Taliban fighters stand on a vehicle along the roadside in the southern city of Kandahar after they seized it [Image from AFP]

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Taliban seize Jalalabad


Kabul: An Afghan lawmaker and the Taliban say the militants have seized Jalalabad, cutting off Kabul to the east. The militants posted photos online early Sunday showing them in the governor's office in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

Abrarullah Murad, a lawmaker from the province told The Associated Press that the insurgents seized Jalalabad after elders negotiated the fall of the government there.

The seizure on Sunday comes amid rapid gains by the Taliban over the last week, pressuring Afghanistan's central government as US, British and Canadian forces rush troops in to help their diplomatic staffs still there. Thousands have poured into Kabul to flee the Taliban advance.

Earlier on Saturday, Taliban militants have seized Pul-e-Alam city, the provincial capital of Logar province, located 60 km south of Kabul, as the insurgents continue their fight against government forces, reported Xinhua quoting a local official.

Though did not provide further details, the officials confirmed the fall of the city.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in his Twitter account "Abdul Qayum Rahimi, the governor for Logar province has joined the Mujahidin" and the city of Pul-e-Alam is in control of the insurgent group.

With the capture of Pul-e-Alam, the number of provincial capitals seized by the Taliban militants has reportedly reached 18, including the cities of Herat, Kandahar and Ghazni.

The Afghan government is yet to comment on the development.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban claimed to have captured two more provincial capitals of Tirin Kot (Uruzgan) and Firoz Koah (Ghor).

Also on Saturday, the militants captured Warsaj district, the last bastion of the Afghan government in Takhar province.

The group is now continuing its fight to overrun Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, and Maimana of Farah province.

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