Taliban capture Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan’s fourth largest city

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan lawmaker says the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, has fallen to the Taliban after the insurgents launched a major assault there earlier in the day.

The lawmaker from Balkh, Abas Ebrahimzada, says the province’s national army corps surrendered first, which then prompted the pro-government militias and other forces to lose morale and give up in the face of yesterday’s onslaught.

Balkh is the second-largest province in Afghanistan, and its capital, Mazar-i-Sharif, is the fourth-largest city.

According to the lawmaker, all of the provincial installations and government offices, including the governor’s office, are now in Taliban hands.

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