Taliban Take Second Largest City in Afghanistan, US and UK Send Extra Soldiers for Embassy Evacuation
In Afghanistan, the Taliban say they now also control Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city. As a result, several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, are sending military personnel to accompany the departure of their embassy staff.
Afghan cities are rapidly falling into the hands of the Taliban. Hours after the fall of the western metropolis of Herat, the Taliban’s extremist fighters claimed they now also control Kandahar in the south of the country. The local government has also confirmed this. Only the airport would still be in the hands of the army. In doing so, they have recaptured control of Afghanistan’s second and third cities.
Kandahar has been the main prize for the Taliban so far. With more than 614,000 inhabitants, it is the second city after Kabul, but it is more essential for them too. It is an economic centre in southern Afghanistan and was the capital of the Afghan kingdom in the 18th century. Kandahar was also their seat under the Taliban regime (1996-2001). Kandahar is also an important cultural and historical centre for the Pashtun, the dominant population group on which the Taliban are based.
Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan, is also said to have fallen into the hands of the Taliban. There, the military and the administration were given 48 hours to leave the city.
In 8 days, the fundamentalist group has now taken control of half of all provinces, controlling large parts of the north, west and south of the country.