The Taliban captures the eastern Logar Province and seizes seven more provincial capitals, Gardez, Sharana, Asadabad, Maymana, Mihtarlam, Nili and Mazar-i-Sharif, as heavy fighting is reported amid a rapid advance of the group towards the capital Kabul. Mazar-i-Sharif had been visited on Wednesday by President Ashraf Ghani.
The Taliban captures its ninth provincial capital in six days, seizing Fayzabad, the capital of Badakhshan Province, amid a rapid advance in northern Afghanistan. The capture comes as President Ashraf Ghani appeals to local warlords to confront and fight the Taliban. The jihadist group also takes control of Kunduz Airport, after hundreds of Afghan National Security Forces personnel in the area surrender with all of their military equipment.
The Taliban tightens its grip in many districts and cities in northern Afghanistan as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani calls on local militias to fight the armed group. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says that the United States is willing to continue their airstrike campaign against the Taliban but warned that "it is up to the Afghan government to defend themselves" and also added that "it is their struggle".
President Ashraf Ghani blames the worsening security situation in Afghanistan on the sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops amid a rapid advance of the Taliban across the country. Ghani warns that the Islamist group has not severed ties with other terrorist groups. The Taliban rejects Ghani's statement.
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen says that the Islamist group "does not want to monopolize" Afghanistan, pointing to past failed attempts by countries to do so. Shaheen also says that women's rights under the Taliban would now be respected, although women would still need to wear a headscarf or hijab and have a male relative as a companion in order to leave their house. Shaheen also accused President Ashraf Ghani of being a "warmonger" and said that "no one wants a civil war in Afghanistan".
Four separate bombings kill eleven civilians and injure many others across the country as the three-day ceasefire declared by the Taliban to observe Eid al-Fitr remains in place. No group claims responsibility for any of the bombings.
The Taliban declares a three-day Eid ceasefire starting on Sunday. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid orders all attacks to cease and only use force "if any action is taken against you by the enemy". Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomes the ceasefire and orders the armed forces of Afghanistan to "comply with the three-days truce and to defend only if attacked".
The Taliban rejects the government's conditional prisoner release order announced by President Ashraf Ghani. The Taliban demand 5,000 Taliban prisoners held by the government be released before intra-Afghan dialogue can be initiated.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani claims victory over ISIL, citing the surrender of over 600 of their fighters in the past weeks as an example that the group has given up.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani calls for a conditional cease-fire with Taliban insurgents for the duration of the Eid al-Adha holiday.