Afghan forces retakes 2 districts amid intense fighting

Amid an increase in the ongoing intense fighting, Afghan forces have retaken two districts in the north of the country which were overrun by the Taliban, a media report said.

According to security sources, Khan Abad district in Kunduz was retaken on Monday, while Chah Ab district in Takhar was seized last week, TOLO News reported.

“Over 50 militants were killed in face-to-face fighting and by airstrikes in Khan Abad. Some commanders are also among them,” said Kunduz Police Chief Farid Mashal.

However, other districts continue to fall to the Taliban.

On Monday, security forces evacuated the centre of Sayyad district in the northern province of Sar-e-Pul and Oba district in the western province of Herat.

Data collected by TOLO News reveal that centres of at least 30 districts have fallen to the Taliban since the beginning of the official withdrawal of the US and other NATO troops on May 1.

“The root causes of why districts started to fall suddenly should be determined. Some districts were handed over to the Taliban in the west without resistance and their equipment was left for militants,” the news outlet quoted Sadiq Qaderi, an MP from Herat, as saying.

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that the recent advancements by the Taliban are narrow and this “will soon be changed into a graveyard” for the group.

“Their sequence has no depth or width. Those who are familiar with the fight know that this narrow line will turn into a mass grave for this group of horror and ignorance,” Saleh said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said there were “areas in districts where we made retreats. New forces were sent, they were equipped and the enemy will soon be removed from there”.

At least 40 security force members have been either killed or wounded in clashes over the past 24 hours, but the Defence Ministry said Taliban casualties are higher than those of the government forces.

The Taliban has rejected figures provided by the Ministry.