Afghan media reports say the Taliban yesterday seized Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province in the northeast of Afghanistan, which has a long border with Tajikistan and was once considered an anti-Taliban stronghold. 

That would put the Taliban in control of nine of the country's 34 provincial capitals.

Two provincial capitals in Afghanistan – Farah, the capital of the province with the same name, and Pul-e Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province -- fell to the Taliban on the same day in the country’s west and north, marking the seventh and eighth to be overrun in under a week, according to The Times of India.

Farah and Pul-i-Khumri’s likely fall comes as the Afghan security forces have been fending off attacks in other cities, including in the province of Herat, where fighting has been reported outside the capital.

Thus, nine of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals has fallen to the Taliban so far, namely, Zaranj, the capital of western Nimroz, Aybak, the capital of northern Samangan, Taloqan, the capital of northern Takhar, Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan, Sar-e Pul, the capital of northern Sar-e Pul province, Farah, the capital of Farah province, Pul-e Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province, and Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province.  

According to Reuters, a senior EU official said on Tuesday that Taliban forces now control 65% of Afghan territory, and are threatening to take 11 provincial capitals and are trying to deprive Kabul of its traditional support from national forces in the north.

Meanwhile, TOLO News says Afghan President Ghani arrived in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, today morning amid challenging security situation in the northern provinces.

Ghani's adviser on security and political affairs Mohammad Mohaqiq and former mujahideen commander Juma Khan Hamdard are accompanying the President on the trip.

Tuesday night, former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum reportedly also traveled to Mazar-e Sharif.

A security meeting is being held in Mazar-e Sharif today with the presence of Marshal Dostum, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor and security officials in the province, according to TOLO News.  

The meeting will focus on coordination between the defense and security forces and the mobilization of the public uprising forces and launching clearance operations in cities that have fallen to the Taliban, an official source was quoted as saying.