Taliban seizes Ghazni, Afghan govt offers ‘share in power’

Sunbd Desk || Published: 2021-08-12 11:32:57 || Updated: 2021-08-12 11:32:57

The Taliban armed group has taken control of Ghazni, the capital of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, about 130km (80 miles) southwest of capital Kabul.

It becomes the 10th provincial capital to fall within days.

A senior security official tells Reuters news agency the Taliban had captured Ghazni, which is on the highway between Kabul and the second city of Kandahar, and had occupied all of its government agency headquarters after heavy clashes.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kabul, says the city of Ghazni itself has fallen to the Taliban, but there is still fighting around the intelligence compound.

“The governor of Ghazni has actually left the city,” he says.

“This is a significant gain for the Taliban. There has been an extensive fighting around the city of Ghazni for some days now. It was always suspected that if another provincial capital was about to fall, this would probably be Ghazni.”

“All local government officials, including the provincial governor, have been evacuated towards Kabul,” says the official who declined to be identified.

A government source tells Al Jazeera that the Afghan government has offered the Taliban a share in power so long as the rising violence in the country comes to a halt.

The proposal was delivered through Qatar, the host of Afghan peace talks, according to the source, Al Jazeera’s Ali M Latifi reports from Kabul.

Meanwhile, fighting is raging in Lashkar Gah, one of Afghanistan’s largest cities in the Taliban heartland of Helmand province.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Doha, says the third and last day of multination talks on Afghanistan have started in the Qatari capital.

“The delegations we have not yet seen appear here today at the main venue for these talks are the delegations for the Afghan government and the Taliban,” he says.

“I spoke with one member of the Afghan government delegation who said that they expect they will be meeting with the envoys who have assembled here in this hall for around 2pm Doha time (11:00 GMT).”

“The sense that we are getting from all the diplomats is that they are extremely concerned about what’s been going on in Afghanistan and they are trying to come up with some type of joint plan in order to get the situation under control.”

The talks include diplomats and envoys from the US, the UK, the EU, China, Pakistan and Uzbekistan along with the UN.

Source: Al Jazeera

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