collapse of five districts
Du Ab district of Nooristan

Conflicting accounts emerge over collapse of five districts

The Taliban have claimed – some with evidence – they have taken control of five districts in Urozgan, Ghazni, Zabul, and Nooristan provinces but the government authorities reject it.

As per account of Taliban spokesmen, the militants have overran Gizab district of Urozgan, Dehyak district of Ghazni, Shinkay district of Zabul, Du Ab and Mandol districts of Nooristan province. They have further claimed killing a large number of government forces and seizure of military equipment and weapon.

However, the government authorities provide different accounts regarding the collapse of the three districts but confirm the Taliban takeover of Du Ab and Mandol district in Nooristan province.

Talking to Kabul Now, Tariq Arian, spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, said that government forces have made a “tactical retreat” from Gizab district of Urozgan.

Rejecting collapse of Dehyak district, Wahidullah Jumazadah, spokesperson for Ghazni Governor, said that the district’s headquarter has been moved around 100 meters away from its previous place upon the request of the local residents.

Local sources in Zabul also rejected the Taliban claim and described it as a lie. All the government facilities, including the police headquarter of Shinkay district, are under the control of Afghan defense and security forces, said Gul Islam Sayal, spokesperson for Zabul governor.

However, video footage – attributed to Shinkay district – circulated on social media show the Taliban have already entered into the administrative complex of the district.

Government sources from Nooristan province, meanwhile, confirmed to Kabul Now that Du Ab and Mandol districts of the province have been fallen into the hands of the Taliban. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide details.

Saadullah Payandazoy, Chief of Zabul Provincial Council, confirmed to Kabul Now that the two districts of Nooristan have been fallen to the Taliban. The two districts fell to the Taliban last night, Friday, June 04, around 09:30 PM but the defense and security forces have not suffered any casualty, he added.

According to Mr. Payandazoy, some security forces protecting the two districts have surrendered to the Taliban and some other retreated after they were not provided reinforcement forces during a 20-day Taliban siege.

This comes as four districts have already collapsed in Baghlan, Laghman, and Maidan Wardak provinces since May 01, when the foreign troops started their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

However, the defense and interior ministries had announced that government forces made “tactical retreats” from Nirkh and Jalrez districts of Maidan Wardak, Burka district of Baghlan, and Dawlatshah district of Laghman.