The Taliban extremist group in Afghanistan captured Hayratan, a northern town in Afghanistan, bringing them closer to another attack on Mazar-e-Sharif, the headquarters of Taliban opposition leaders. With control of the town of Hayratan, the Taliban has cut off access to a highway carrying supplies into Mazar-e Sharif.
The Taliban controls the southern two-thirds of Afghanistan, where they have prohibited women from working, going to school, leaving their homes without a close male relative, or appearing in public without a burqa, a head-to-toe garment with only a mesh opening to see through.
The Taliban continues to push for international recognition as the official government of Afghanistan. The group says Saudi Arabia, one of three countries that recognizes them, has pledged to help them financially and politically, including help gaining the Afghan seat at the United Nations.