The Taliban captured four more provincial capitals today in a fierce offensive during which they reached Kabul, just weeks before the United States officially ends its 20-year presence in Afghanistan.

In the last 24 hours, the second and third largest cities in Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south fell into rebel hands, as did the capital of the southern province of Helmand Lashkargah, where US, British and NATO forces fought some of the bloodiest battles. during the war.

The rebels now control half of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals, more than two-thirds of the country.

The Afghan government, backed by the West, controls Mazar-e-Sharif in the north and Jalalabad, near the border with Pakistan in the east, in addition to Kabul.

The United States has announced that it will send 3,000 soldiers to help during the evacuation of the staff of the American embassy in Kabul, due to the worsening security situation. Both Britain and Canada will send their forces to help evacuate their citizens.

Denmark and Norway have announced they will close embassies and Germany will reduce staff to the “necessary minimum”

About 400,000 Afghans have fled their homes since the beginning of the year in fear of the Taliban, and 80 percent are women and children, of which 250,000 since May alone, a United Nations official said.

By Editor

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