Taliban continue to advance on major cities in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters struck Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan with at least three rockets overnight, the insurgent group’s spokesman said on Sunday, adding that the aim was to thwart air sTalibantrikes conducted by Afghan government forces. Also, fighting is raging around three major cities in south and west Afghanistan, as Taliban militants seek to seize them from government forces. Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar saw continued clashes on Sunday.

Afghan government officials said the rocket attacks forced authorities to suspend all flights and that the runway was partially damaged. There were no immediate reports of casualties, they said. The Taliban have made rapid rural gains since it was announced almost all foreign troops would go by September. The Taliban have been advancing in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from the country and in recent weeks the fundamentalist Islamist group said they have captured over half of all Afghanistan’s territory, including border crossings with Iran and Pakistan. But the fate of these key cities could be crucial amid fears of a humanitarian crisis and how long government forces will be able to hold out. The fundamentalist Islamist militia is already thought to have captured up to half of all Afghanistan’s territory, including lucrative border crossings with Iran and Pakistan, but it has yet to take a provincial capital.