The Taliban have captured their first provincial capital since launching an offensive to coincide with the departure of foreign troops, a senior official confirmed Friday, a significant psychological blow to a government desperately defending a string of cities against the insurgents, AFP reported.
“The city of Zaranj, provincial capital of Nimroz, has fallen to the Taliban,” Roh Gul Khairzad, the deputy governor, told AFP.
She said the city — in southwest Afghanistan near the Iranian border — had fallen “without a fight”, and social media showed clips of insurgents roaming the streets, being cheered by residents.
The veracity of the videos could not immediately be confirmed.
The fall of Zaranj comes the same day the Taliban claimed responsibility for killing the head of the Afghan government’s media information department.