The Taliban militants overran Taloqan, the capital of the northern Takhar province, capturing the final areas it hadn't previously controlled after a months-long siege.

Afghan security personnel patrol after they took back control of parts of the city of Herat following fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces.
Afghan security personnel patrol after they took back control of parts of the city of Herat following fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces. (Hamed Sarfarazi / AP)

Taliban fighters have taken control of another provincial capital, Afghan officials said, the fifth to fall into insurgent hands in less than a week.

The armed group fighters overran Taloqan, the capital of the northern Takhar province on Sunday, capturing the final areas it hadn't previously controlled after a months long siege, the two officials from the province said.

The fighters have taken dozens of districts and border crossings in recent months and put pressure on several provincial capitals, including Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south, as foreign troops withdraw.

READ MORE: Taliban captures key government buildings in capitals of Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul

Taliban momentum rising

The offensive has gathered momentum in recent days after the United States announced it would end its military mission in the country by the end of August.

Also on Sunday, Taliban fighters seized key government buildings in Kunduz, leaving government forces hanging onto control of the airport and their base, a provincial assembly member said.

The city of 270,000, is regarded as a strategic prize as it lies at the gateway to mineral-rich northern provinces and Central Asia.

"Heavy clashes started yesterday afternoon. All government headquarters are in control of the Taliban, only the army base and the airport is with ANDSF (Afghan security forces) from where they are resisting the Taliban," the official, Amruddin Wali, said.

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A security forces spokesman said on Sunday evening that government forces would launch a large scale operation to retake lost areas of the province as soon as possible.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group had largely captured the province and were close to the airport.

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Health officials in Kunduz said that 14 bodies, including those of women and children, and more than 30 injured people had been taken to hospital.

The Taliban have also taken government buildings in the northern provincial capital of Sar-e-Pul, driving officials out of the main city to a nearby military base, Mohammad Noor Rahmani, a provincial council member of Sar-e-Pul province, said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies