The advancing Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan vowed to have captured the Fayzabad city, the center of the northern Badakhshan province next to Tajikistan.
The group shared images of its armed fighters patrolling the streets and hoisting the white Taliban flag in the main square of the fallen city.
Local sources told Anadolu Agency that the security forces went on retreat after overwhelming Taliban attacks for days.
"The province of Badakhshan with all its belongings has been 'conquered'," tweeted Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed.
Seemingly undeterred by a heavy death toll, the Afghan forces claimed to have inflicted on the insurgents, the Taliban continued with their advances on urban centers after capturing around 200 rural districts.
With this, Fayzabad became the ninth provincial capital after Aybak, Qala-e-Nau, Lashkargah, Zaranj, Sheberghan, Kunduz, Taluqan, and Sar-e-Pul to be partly or partially overrun by the Taliban.
After taking over nearly 200 rural districts last month, the Taliban launched assaults on major cities, marching on Herat, Kandahar, Taluqan, and Lashkargah, causing panic and anxiety among millions of civilians.