Taliban Could Take Afghan Capital Within 90 Days After Rapid Gains — U.S. Intelligence

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Taliban fighters could isolate Afghanistan’s capital in 30 days and possibly take it over within 90, a U.S. defence official cited U.S. intelligence as saying, as the resurgent militants made more advances across the country. The official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, said the new assessment of how long Kabul could stand was a result of the Taliban’s rapid gains as U.S.-led foreign forces leave. “But this is not a foregone conclusion,” the official added, saying that the Afghan security forces could reverse the momentum by putting up more resistance. The Islamists now control 65% of Afghanistan and have taken or threaten to take 11 provincial capitals, a senior EU official said on Tuesday. Faizabad, in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, on Wednesday became the eighth provincial capital to be seized by the Taliban. Fighting was extremely intense in Kandahar city, a doctor based in southern Kandahar provice said. The city received scores of bodies of Afghan forces and some injured Taliban. All gateways to Kabul, which lies in a valley surrounded by mountains, were choked with civilians fleeing violence, a Western security source said.

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