Afghan govt imposes night curfew

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Kabul

Afghan authorities on Saturday imposed a night-time curfew across 31 of the country’s 34 provinces to curb surging violence unleashed by a sweeping Taliban offensive in recent months, the interior ministry said.

“To curb violence and limit the Taliban movements a night curfew has been imposed in 31 provinces across the country,” except Kabul, Panjshir and Nangarhar, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The curfew will be effective between 10pm and 4am local time, Ahmad Zia Zia, deputy interior ministry spokesman said in a separate audio statement to reporters.

Since early May, the Taliban have launched a widespread offensive across the country that has seen the group capture border crossings, dozens of districts and encircle several provincial capitals.

With the withdrawal of American-led foreign forces all but complete, the resurgent group now controls about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts.

Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has escalated over the past two months as international troops withdraw from the country. The Taliban has also seized key roads as it seeks to cut off supply routes.

Its fighters have been closing in on a number of major cities, but have not yet been able to capture one.

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