The Taliban easily captured a key provincial capital on Friday while at almost the same time they managed to assassinate a key government official.
As Axios reports:
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.
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.
In recent days the Taliban have also moved in on other important cities like Lashkar Gar. US intelligence assessments have warned that the US-backed government in Kabul could fall in as little as six months.