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Afghanistan's Second Biggest City Kandahar Has Fallen to Taliban

© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUIA convoy of Afghan Special Forces is seen during the rescue mission of a policeman besieged at a check post surrounded by Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021
A convoy of Afghan Special Forces is seen during the rescue mission of a policeman besieged at a check post surrounded by Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.08.2021
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The loss of Kandahar marks the biggest setback for the US-backed government since the terrorists ramped up their offensive against the background of foreign troop withdrawal.
The Taliban* has seized Afghanistan's second biggest city of Kandahar, multiple media outlets reported, citing regional authorities.
"Following heavy clashes late last night the Taliban took control of Kandahar city," a local government official was cited by Reuters as saying.
The city was reportedly seized late Thursday, with local officials fleeing to the airport to escape the takeover.
Afghanistan is currently seeing a spike in violence as the Taliban step up their offensive after international troops started a gradual withdrawal from the country, scheduled to be completed by 31 August. The pullout was stipulated in the agreement the Taliban and the United States signed in Doha in February 2020.
In August, the Taliban claimed that they had seized the administrative centers in 10 of the 34 Afghan provinces.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organization banned in Russia
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