Taliban capture cities of Herat, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah

Taliban insurgents tightened their grip on Afghanistan on Friday, wresting control of its second and third biggest cities while Western embassies prepared to send in troops to help evacuate staff from the capital, Kabul. The seizure of Kandahar and Herat marks the biggest prizes yet for the Taliban, who have taken 13 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals as part of a weeklong blitz. The Taliban have also captured the key southern city of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, a senior Afghan security source told AFP on Friday, confirming a claim by the insurgents. Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary tells us more.