Taliban fighters capture more districts in Afghanistan

By: News Desk      Published: 12:30 PM, 27 Jun, 2021
Taliban fighters capture more districts in Afghanistan
A government APC passing on a road in a northern district.

Taliban fighters captured more Afghan districts as they continued a wave of offensives in the north of the country. 

Fierce fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has taken place on the outskirts of three provincial capitals in the northern provinces of Faryab, Balkh and Kunduz.

Taliban officially claimed capturing Rostaq district in Takhar province and Chak distric in Maidan Wardak province and three others districts.

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The Taliban also paid for the released of 85 more Afghan government commando soldiers who surrerendered to the Taliban in Markzi Baghlan district of Baghlan province and sent them home

Since the United States announced plans in April to withdraw its troops with no conditions by Sept 11 after nearly 20 years of conflict, violence has escalated throughout the country as the Taliban occupy more territory.

Peace talks in Doha have largely stalled, officials say, though there have been meetings in recent days and the Taliban say they are committed to talks.

The latest surge in the north is outside the Taliban's traditional strongholds in southern districts such as Helmand and Kandahar where major fighting had previously taken place.

Local officials in Kunduz said the Taliban on Tuesday seized Shir Khan port, a commercial local town situated on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Local officials and Taliban members said the Taliban had reached the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh's capital, on Monday evening before retreating.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group's leadership had asked fighters to return after they reached the entrance of Mazar-i-Sharif as their top leadership did not want to seize provinces until all US forces had left.

The United States began withdrawing troops on May 1 and has handed some bases over to the Afghan government, which has since given up some areas to the Taliban without a fight.

The government admits the Taliban have captured a number of districts and security forces have made "tactical retreats".