The fall of Mazar-e-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city, which Afghan forces and two powerful former warlords had pledged to defend, hands the insurgents control over all of northern Afghanistan, confining the Western-backed government to the centre and east.
The Taliban seized a province just south of Afghanistan’s capital and launched a multi-pronged assault early Saturday on a major city in the north defended by powerful former warlords, Afghan officials said.
The insurgents have captured much of northern, western, and southern Afghanistan in a breakneck offensive less than three weeks before the United States is set to withdraw its last troops,
The evacuation from Mazar-e-Sharif, the bustling city in the north which is situated close to the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, comes after Indian diplomats and staff left the Kandahar consulate last month.
Marshal (Afghan National Army) Abdul Rashid Dostum on Tuesday left Kabul for Mazar-e-Sharif after the fall of the eighth province Baghlan to the Taliban. Ehsan Nairo, Dostum´s spokesman, confirmed the news and said that the trip to Mazar-e-Sharif was coordinated with the help of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.