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Taliban invade Kabul, Afghanistan

After Western forces left Afghanistan in the spring and summer, the Taliban took control of ever larger areas of the country. Here is a brief summary of events:

April 14: US President Joe Biden announces that US forces will leave the country starting May 1, with the goal of leaving 9/11 completely.

June: The Taliban occupied several northern provinces, including the border crossing with Tajikistan.

July 2: The US and NATO leave Bagram Air Base, the largest base in Afghanistan and key to the US-led offensive in the country for two decades.

July 9: Taliban control the main border crossing with Iran in the west.

July 14: The Spin Boldak border crossing with Pakistan in the southeast is in the hands of the Taliban.

July 21: According to US data, the Taliban controls half of the country.

July 22 – Taliban declares control of 90 percent of all border crossings – a figure the country’s government rejects.

July 26: The United Nations says 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or injured during the fighting in May and June, the highest number since statistics began in 2009.

August 3: A Taliban attack on Defense Minister Kabul fails, killing eight people.

August 6: Zarang, the provincial capital, is the first to be controlled by the Taliban.

August 8 – Sar-e-Pol, Kunduz and Taluqan, all capitals of the northern provinces, fall under Taliban control.

August 13: Three other provincial capitals, Qal’at Naw, Herat, and Lashkar Gah, come under Taliban control. Extremists also occupy the country’s second largest city, Kandahar.

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August 14: Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province in the north and the fourth largest city in the country, falls to the Taliban.

Source: Agence France-Presse and Reuters