Taliban seize key district on Afghan-Pakistan border

Afghan troops forced top pull back in early morning attack on Yamgan

Taliban seize key district on Afghan-Pakistan border

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Taliban took control of a key district in northeastern Afghanistan amid heavy fighting on Saturday, a local police official told Anadolu Agency.

According to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Badakhshan provincial police, hundreds of insurgents including foreign fighters attacked remote mountainous Yamgan district, which lies on the route militants take between Pakistan and Afghanistan, early Saturday.

He said Afghan security forces had pulled back from the district but heavy fighting renewed as army commandos arrived to reinforce the government forces.

“Local Taliban in collaboration with foreign fighters stormed Yamgan district at 4.00 a.m.,” Ahmadzai said via phone. “Our security forces had a tactical withdrawal to avoid causalities.”

He added: “Enemies have taken control of 60 to 70 percent of Yamgan district.”

The security forces did not suffer any fatalities and there were no immediate reports on Taliban causalities.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said several police and soldiers were killed in the attack and a huge amount of ammunition seized. His claims were not verified by any independent sources.

The volatile province, bordering Pakistan, Tajikistan and China, has seen increased violence in recent months with rising attacks on government buildings and security forces. In April, around 1,000 local and foreign fighters stormed Jurm district, killing around 30 police and soldiers.

The same month saw the insurgents take control of another key district, Qadis in western Badghis province.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense on Saturday said security forces had killed 96 militants and wounded 61 others during counter-terror operations over the previous 24 hours. At least four insurgents were arrested.

Eleven soldiers were killed by gunfire and bomb explosions.

Despite informal talks between government representatives and the Taliban in Norway and Dubai, the fighting in Afghanistan has escalated following the launch of the Taliban’s spring offensive in April.

Thousands of militants stormed the northern city of Kunduz in April in an attempt to seize control of the province and its outlying districts. Hundreds of Taliban, Afghan troops and civilians were killed.

U.S.-led international forces ended combat missions at the end of last year. However, nearly 13,000 international troops remain in an advisory capacity.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Haziran 2015, 17:44