Afghan conflict: Taliban near Kabul and attack northern stronghold


Taliban fighters have edged closer to the Afghan capital Kabul, as their rapid advance shows no sign of slowing.


Fighting has been reported in Maidan Shar, 40km (25 miles) from the capital, and in Mazar-e-Sharif, the only major city in the north still under government control.


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he is holding intensive talks with regional and international allies.


More than a quarter of a million people have been displaced by the violence.

With much of the country in Taliban hands many of those fleeing have headed towards Kabul in the hope of finding safety.


Women in areas captured by the Taliban described being forced to wear burkas and the militants are also reported to have beaten and lashed people for breaking social rules.