Eight districts fall to Taliban in northern Afghanistan
A total of eight districts – six districts in Takhar two districts in Balkh and Samangarn provinces – have fallen to the Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan since yesterday’s evening after government forces retreated from the districts without resistance against the militants in most of the districts, local sources confirmed.
Bangi, Chal, Hazar Sumuch, and Yangi Qala districts fell to the Taliban last night, Wafiullah Rahmani, Chief of Takhar Provincial Council told Kabul Now. He added that Dashti Qala, and Namak Ab districts have collapsed into the hands of the militants today.
The defense and security forces have retreated without any resistance against the Taliban militants from all the fallen districts except for Namak Ab where four security forces were killed in clashes against the militants, the local official detailed.
As per his account, the recent districts’ fall have negatively impacted the morale of Afghan defense and security forces.
Meanwhile, Hamid Mubarez, spokesperson for Takhar governor, rejected the district’s fall to the Taliban saying that “some changes” have happened. The Taliban have been defeated in Dashti Qala, Khwaja Bahauddin, and Namak Ab districts, he added.
The councilman, however, rejected details shared by the governor’s spokesperson and criticized lack of required support for security forces. He added that heavy fighting is underway between security forces and the Taliban in Khwaja district as well.
Abdulhadi Nazari, spokesman for the 217 Pamir Military Corps, told Kabul Now the Corps’ commander have gone to Takhar to lead the war against the militants in the province. Though he did not comment about fall of the districts, he assured that they will take the required measures to retake the fallen territories as soon as possible.
In the northern Balkh province, two members of the province’ Provincial Council – Mohammad Afzal Hadid and Ghulam Sakhi Lala – confirmed the Taliban militants have overrun Charbolak district of the province. Some security forces have been either killed, wounded, or taken hostage by the Taliban.
Mr. Hadid said the district fell to the Taliban today, around 10:00 AM.
A local commander in the district told Kabul Now 60 security forces, including several police officials, were taken as hostages by the Taliban along with tens of light weapons.
In Samangan, another province in north of the country, Dara Sof Balla district has fallen to the Taliban and some security forces have been taken hostage by the militants, said Mohammad Hashim Sarwary, a member of Samangan Provincial Council.
Except for Dashti Qala districts, the Taliban has also claimed they have overrun these districts in Takhar, Samangan, and Balkh provinces. With the newly fallen districts in these three provinces, the total number of districts fallen to the Taliban since May 01, beginning of foreign troop withdrawal, across the country raises to 40.