Taliban press advance after capturing 2 major Afghan cities

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the rapidly-advancing Taliban have entered a western provincial capital. He spoke hours after the insurgents captured the country’s second and third largest cities in a lightning advance just weeks before America is set to end its longest war. The seizure of Kandahar and Herat marks the biggest prizes yet for the Taliban, who have taken 12 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals as part of a weeklong blitz. While Kabul itself isn’t directly under threat yet, the losses and the battles elsewhere further tighten the grip of a resurgent Taliban, who are estimated to now hold over two-thirds of the country.

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