The Taliban overtook Ghazni on Thursday, making the city the 10th provincial capital to fall to the insurgents in a week as they capture strategic areas of Afghanistan, The Associated Press reported.
Afghanistan's capital of Kabul, which U.S. intelligence says could fall to the insurgent group within 30 days, is only a few hours away from Ghazni.
Militants in Ghazni reportedly raised a white flag with an Islamic proclamation of faith as Taliban forces overtook the city. Amanullah Kamrani, a provincial council member in Ghazni, confirmed that the city has fallen, but added that state-led forces still held two bases outside the city.
He said the city's provincial governor and police chief established a deal with the insurgent group to flee after their surrender. Video evidence showed the governor passing by Taliban militants without being stopped, according to the AP.
Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry said the officials were arrested later Thursday after the details of their deal were revealed.
The capture of Ghazni could spell trouble for the Afghan government. The city connects the capital to the southern provinces, so its seizure complicates the military's ability to resupply and move across the county. The city's residents were evacuated to Kabul, according to Reuters.
The Taliban has been making their way across Afghanistan in an attempt to gain full control of the country after U.S. forces depart.
The Taliban is estimated to hold about two-thirds of the nation and is predicted to control it within a few months.