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13 August 2021

The Taliban now controls a majority of districts in Afghanistan

The Islamist group now controls nearly 60 per cent of Afghan districts, up from 20 per cent before the US withdrawal was announced.

By Ben Walker

As 600 UK troops are deployed to Afghanistan to rescue around 4,000 British citizens, data from the Long War Journal estimates Taliban militants now control most of the districts in the country.

Taliban now controls majority of districts in Afghanistan
Share of districts in Afghanistan controlled and contested

The latest estimates, from 12 August, show nearly 60 per cent of Afghan districts are now under Taliban control. Of the remaining areas, 25 per cent are contested and just 16 per cent are confidently under the control of the national government.

When Joe Biden announced in April his plans for a full withdrawal of US troops by 11 September, the Taliban controlled less than 20 per cent of Afghan districts. The Islamist group has made a dramatic advance in recent weeks; by contrast, in 2017, more than two-thirds of Afghan districts were under government control.

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