The Taliban's advance in Afghanistan moved closer to Kabul with the seizure of Ghazni, a city about 150 kilometers from the capital. Here is the latest:
Aug. 14 - Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province, has fallen to the Taliban after fierce fighting. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced in a formal statement that they had fully captured Mazar-e-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city, located on the border with Uzbekistan.
Aug. 14 - Sharana, capital of the southeastern Paktika province. The Taliban have released video of their presence in the governor’s headquarters.
Aug. 14 - President Ashraf Ghani makes a televised address, says rapid consultations are under way to end the fighting, calls for revitalization of armed forces.
Aug. 13 - The Taliban seized control of Asadabad, capital of the eastern province of Kunar, Saturday afternoon, Taliban and area residents confirmed.
Aug. 13 – Abdullah Abdullah returned Friday from Doha, Qatar, with a proposal for a political deal, rumored to involve a cease-fire, between Ghani and the Taliban, according to a former Ghani spokesperson. Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, was to return to Doha by Saturday to discuss Ghani's decision with the Taliban.
Aug. 13 – Canada announced it was accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees, with the first planeload arriving Friday in Toronto, according to Agence France-Presse.
Aug. 13 – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO allies met in the North Atlantic Council to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. In a statement, he said that "NATO will maintain our diplomatic presence in Kabul and continue to adjust as necessary" and that NATO's "aim remains to support the Afghan government & security forces as much as possible."
Aug. 12 – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with Ghani to inform him the U.S. "is reducing our civilian footprint in Kabul in light of the evolving security situation and will accelerate the tempo of Special Immigration Visa flights." A State Department readout said Blinken and Austin emphasized that the U.S. "remains invested in the security and stability of Afghanistan in the face of violence by the Taliban."
Aug. 12 – The U.S. announced the deployment of 3,000 troops to Kabul to help secure the U.S. Embassy and facilitate the evacuation of U.S. civilians and diplomatic personnel out of Afghanistan.
Aug. 12 – U.S. announced that about 3,500 to 4,000 troops with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division were being sent to U.S. bases in Kuwait, where they will be on standby should conditions in Afghanistan deteriorate more quickly.
Aug. 12 - Britain urged its citizens to "leave Afghanistan immediately." British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace later announced he was sending about 600 troops "to support the diplomatic presence in Kabul, assist British nationals to leave the country and support the relocation of former Afghan staff."
The following is a compilation of the provincial capitals the Taliban has captured or is threatening to seize. There are 34 provincial capitals in the country:
Captured provincial capitals:
Aug. 14 – Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province.
Aug. 14 – Asadabad, capital of eastern province of Kunar.
Aug. 14 - Sharana, capital of southeastern Paktika province.
Aug. 13 – Qalat, capital of the southern province of Zabul.
Aug. 13 – Pol-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province and the hometown of President Ghani.
Aug. 13 – Firuzkoh, the capital of central Ghor province.
Aug. 13 – Tarinkot: The capital of southern Uruzgan province.
Aug. 13 – Lashkar Gah: The capital of Helmand province in the south.
Aug. 12 – Kandahar: Afghanistan's second-largest city and the capital of Kandahar province in the south.
Aug. 12 – Herat: Taliban captured Afghanistan's third-largest city and capital of the province of the same name after two weeks of fighting.
Aug. 12 – Qala-e-Naw: The Taliban said in a formal statement that they had captured the capital of northwestern Badghis province.
Aug. 12 – Ghazni: A high-ranking security officer said the Taliban had seized the city, which is the capital of the province of the same name.
Aug. 11 – Faizabad: A provincial council member said the Islamic group had taken control of the capital of the northeastern province of Badakhshan.
Aug. 10 – Farah – Taliban take control of the capital of the western province of the same name.
Aug. 10 – Pul-i-Khumri: Residents said the capital of the central province of Baghlan had fallen to the Taliban.
Aug. 9 – Aybak: Taliban fighters overrun the capital of the northern province of Samangan.
Aug. 8 – Taloqan: The northern capital of the Takhar province is seized by the Taliban.
Aug. 8 – Kunduz: The Taliban take control of the northern strategic city that serves as the entryway to the northern provinces and Central Asia and is the capital of Kunduz province.
Aug. 8 – Sar-e Pul: Taliban take control of the capital of the province of the same name.
Aug. 7 – Sheberghan: The Taliban say they have taken control of the northern province of Jawzjan.
Aug. 6 – Zaranj: The Taliban seize control of the city in Nimroz province in the south, the first provincial capital to fall after they escalated attacks on Afghan forces in May.
Some information for this report came from Reuters and The Associated Press.