World Bulletin / News Desk
After losing ground in their bastion in the southern Helmand province, the Taliban has taken intense retaliation in northern Afghanistan, overrunning two districts after bloody clashes.
Afghan officials confirmed on Sunday that the Ghor province’s Taywara district and the Faryab province’s Kohistan district had fallen to the Taliban.
Ghulam Naser Khazeh, the governor of Ghor, told Anadolu Agency that Taywara fell when hundreds of insurgents attacked the district from various directions on Saturday night, but gave no casualty figures.
Iqbal Nizami, spokesman for the provincial police headquarters, confirmed that five members of the Afghan National Security Forces died in clashes with the militants while five were wounded.
“Enemies sustained heavy losses of men and materials, and a large cache of arms and ammunition has been confiscated,” the Taliban said in a message about their advance in Taywara.
On the other front, the Taliban apparently faced little resistance to capturing the Kohistan district in the Faryab province bordering Turkmenistan in the wee hours on Sunday. According to Abdul Karim Youresh, spokesman for the provincial police headquarters, security forces took a strategic retreat to the nearby village of Khair Abad. He vowed a clean-up operation to recapture the district.
This latest spell of intense clashes broke out earlier this week when the Afghan National Security Forces, backed by U.S. air power, managed to reclaim the restive Nawa district in the Helmand province after over a year when the Taliban overrun it.
Afghan officials confirmed at least 82 Taliban and 11 policemen were killed in clashes in Helmand since Wednesday.
Lying south of the Taliban’s birthplace Kandahar, Helmand produces the lion’s share of opium the country produces, and remains one of the most insecure provinces in Afghanistan, with the militants controlling large swaths of land.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a U.S. watchdog, estimates that the Taliban controls 11 districts and has influence over 34 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts (11 percent), while the Afghan government controls 97 districts and influences 146 (60 percent). In its most recent quarterly report to U.S. Congress in November 2016, SIGAR said 27 percent of Afghanistan’s districts remain contested.Last Mod: 23 Temmuz 2017, 16:23