In the north, Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul, and Taloqan fell within hours of each other, lawmakers, security sources, and residents in the cities confirmed.
In Kunduz, one resident described the city as being enveloped in "total chaos."
Northern Afghanistan has long been considered an anti-Taliban stronghold that saw some of the stiffest resistance to militant rule in the 1990s.
The region remains home to several militias and is also a fertile recruiting ground for the country's armed forces.
"The capture of Kunduz is quite significant because it will free up a large number of Taliban forces who might then be mobilized in other parts of the north," said Ibraheem Thurial, a consultant for International Crisis Group.
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