Aug 6, 2021 - World

Taliban capture capital of Afghanistan's Nimruz province

Afghan Children playing during sunset in Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, in October 2016.
Afghan Children playing during sunset in Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, in October 2016. Photo: Aref Karimi/AFP via Getty Images

The Taliban captured the city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province in southwest Afghanistan, government officials announced Friday, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Zaranj, which has at least 50,000 residents, is the first provincial capital to fall under Taliban control since President Biden announced a military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has coincided with large territorial gains by the insurgent group and a sharp uptick in violence.

  • Zaranj is situated on the Afghanistan-Iran border and has been a hub for Afghans fleeing the conflict to Iran, according to the Times.

The big picture: The Taliban also assassinated the director of Afghanistan’s government media and information center on Friday in the capital of Kabul, the latest in a series of attacks against government officials.

  • It has claimed almost all of the districts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, according to AP.

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