Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Taliban Seizes Ghazni's Provincial Capital, Just 80 Miles From Kabul

Ghazni city is the 10th provincial capital to fall in a week to the Taliban.

Taliban militants have seized the Afghanistan provincial capital of Ghazni.

The capture marks the 10th provincial capital seized by the insurgents in the last week.

Fighting was still ongoing on the outskirts of the city, but officials say the Taliban were raising their flag and the city had calmed after hours of heavy fighting.

The Afghan central government in Kabul and the security forces did not immediately acknowledge the capture of Ghazni.

Ghazni is some 80 miles southwest of Kabul.

The Taliban also captured a police headquarters in a provincial capital in southern Afghanistan teetering toward being lost to the insurgents as suspected US air strikes pounded the area, an official said.

Fighting raged in Lashkar Gah, one of Afghanistan's largest cities in the Taliban heartland of Helmand province, where surrounded government forces hoped to hold onto the capital after the militants' week-long blitz in which they have already seized nine others around the country.

Afghan security forces and the government have not responded to repeated requests for comment over the days of fighting.

However, President Ashraf Ghani is trying to rally a counter-offensive relying on his country's special forces, the militias of warlords and American airpower ahead of the US and NATO withdrawal at the end of the month.

Cover image: A village near Ghazni in Afghanistan (Picture: US ARMY).