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The Taliban have captured an Afghan provincial capital city for the first time since 2001. Police in the city of Zaranj, capital of the southern Nimroz province, said Taliban forces are now in control. Nimroz is on the border with Iran. The police there were unable to fight because there were too few government soldiers to help. A Taliban official said it was an important day for the group. He said the victory would increase the morale of his fighters in other provinces. He added: "This is just the beginning. Other provinces will fall into our hands very soon." There is currently heavy fighting in the cities of Lashkar Gah, Kanduz, Herat and Kandahar. They may fall before the Taliban fight for the nation's capital Kabul.
The Taliban are fighting to take control of Afghanistan for the first time since 2001. This is when US-led forces defeated them after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. The USA and other western powers have spent 20 years trying to train an Afghan army and police officers to keep the country peaceful. However, the Taliban never gave up their fight to take the country back. The USA and the UK are currently pulling their forces out of Afghanistan. They are ending their time in the country after 20 years. The UN's special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, said the war there had entered "a new, deadlier, and more destructive phase". She warned that the country was heading for "catastrophe".
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