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Witnesses say Afghanistan’s third-largest city, Herat, falls to Taliban

Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Farah, capital of Farah province southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)
Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Farah, capital of Farah province southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)

Witnesses and the Taliban say they have seized Afghanistan’s third-largest city, Herat.

The seizure happened on Thursday night, putting the insurgents in control of 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.

Witnesses tell The Associated Press that sporadic gunfire still echoes near one government building in the city. Otherwise, the insurgents hold the rest of the city after its defensive lines collapsed in the afternoon.

The Afghan government and security forces did not immediately acknowledge Herat’s fall.

Earlier today, the Taliban captured the strategic provincial capital of Ghazni, near Kabul, and broke through defensive lines in Afghanistan’s third-largest city, further squeezing the country’s embattled government just weeks before the end of the American military mission there.

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