KABUL:The Taliban captured Afghanistan’s second largest city of Kandahar late Thursday, according to officials.
Kandahar became the 12th provincial capital to be partly or completely overrun by the insurgents after Ghazni, Herat, Fayzabad, Aybak, Qala-e-Nau, Lashkargah, Zaranj, Sheberghan, Kunduz, Taluqan and Sar-e-Pul.
Earlier Thursday, the Taliban claimed to have captured the strategically important city of Ghazni in central Afghanistan and the country's third largest western city of Herat.
Located only around 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Kabul, Ghazni connects southern and western Afghanistan with the capital city.
After taking over nearly 200 rural districts last month amid the withdrawal of NATO forces, the Taliban launched assaults on major cities, causing panic and anxiety among millions of civilians.