KABUL, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Taliban militants on Sunday took control over Taluqan city, capital of Afghanistan's northern Takhar province after day-long heavy clashes, according to local residents.
"Taliban militants took control of all government offices roughly at the evening on Sunday in Taluqan. They also broke the provincial prison and released the inmates," resident Mohammad Salim told Xinhua via phone.
The security forces retreated to areas on the outskirts of the city, he said.
Meantime, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on his social media that the Taliban took control of Takhar province after capturing its capital late on Sunday. He said that local residents, including people who worked for government, reporters and activists in different sectors will be safe and they will not face any threat.
The militant group had control over all suburban districts of Takhar in recent weeks while they were fighting to seize Taluqan and capture the whole province.
Earlier in the day, the militant group seized Sari Pul city, capital of northern Sari Pul province while they also gained ground in Kunduz city, capital of Kunduz province, in the west of Takhar.
On Friday, Taliban seized Zaranj city, capital of western Nimroz province.
Many Afghan cities and about half of the country's 34 provinces have been the scene of heavy battles and street fighting in recent weeks, as Taliban continued their fighting against security forces since the start of withdrawal of U.S.-led troops in May. Enditem