BRITAIN’S old Afghan headquarters was overrun by Taliban militants as they launched coordinated assaults against three major cities.
Terrified residents in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, said only a handful of key buildings remained under government control after an all-night onslaught.
Witnesses said the base — the nerve centre for Britain’s military — was seized by insurgents after Afghan forces fled.
Former staff who worked there were left fearing for their lives as the British Embassy in Kabul said insurgents had massacred dozens of civilians in revenge killings when they seized government areas.
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The Taliban hold about half the countryside but the fall of Lashkar Gah would be their first provincial capital since US and Nato forces withdrew this month.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani blamed the sudden withdrawal of British and US troops for plunging his country back into civil war.
His troops fought running battles in Kandahar and Herat, the country’s second and third cities.