The Taliban (a terror group, banned in Russia) have entered Aybak, the capital of the Afghan northern province of Samangan, and released inmates from the local jail, a source told Sputnik.
Government forces have left the occupied areas, the source added.
The Taliban claim to have taken full control over the provincial capital.
“During the operation… the city of Aybak, the center of the Samangan province, has also fallen out of the enemy’s [the government forces’] control,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the movement’s spokesman, wrote on Twitter.
At the same time, Afghan TOLONews broadcaster reported, citing two provincial lawmakers, that the Taliban have gained control over most of Aybak, while the government forces left the city without resistance.
The Taliban already claimed to have seized five other provincial capitals.
The hostilities between the Afghan government and the Taliban have intensified as foreign troops began withdrawing from the country. The Taliban have since captured large rural territories and launched an offensive on cities. According to the UN assistance mission in the country, the number of Afghans killed or injured in the first half of the year has hit a record 5,183, with a particularly sharp rise recorded in May when the Taliban began its offensive.