The Taliban militants have overrun five more districts in Maidan Wardak, Kandahar, and Takhar provinces over past 24 hours, according to local sources.
Mohammad Sardar Bakhtiari, deputy head of Maidan Wardak Provincial Council, told Kabul Now the Taliban have taken control of Sayed Abad and Chak districts yesterday, June 26.
Following fall of Sayed Abad district, the local official confirmed a large part of the Highway No1, a ring road that connects the capital Kabul to the southern provinces, is now controlled by the Taliban.
According to the militant group, security and defense forces suffered casualties in clashes against the militants. Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed six security and defense forces were killed and seven others were wounded during the clashes.
The Taliban have also overrun Marouf and Ghorak districts in the southern province of Kandahar, Ahmad Shah Khan, a member of Kandahar Provincial Council confirmed.
The Taliban also claimed fall of Khakrez district in the same province to the militants but local sources did not confirm it.
In addition to these districts, Salahuddin Burhani, a member of Takhar Provincial Council, told Kabul Now that Rostaq in northern province of Takhar has fallen to the Taliban after government forces and pro-government militia abandoned the district’s center with coordination between the two sides.
He, however, claimed 12 Taliban militants were killed and 25 others were wounded in counter-attacks of the government forces and members of the People Uprising Force – a pro-government militia – before collapse of the district.
The Taliban has further claimed they have taken control of Shur Tapa in the northern Balkh province, Firoz Nakhchir district in Samangan, and Mirzaka in the eastern Paktia province. But the local sources rejected the group’s claims.
Mohammad Afzal Hadid, chairman of Balkh Provincial Council, told Kabul Now the Taliban attacked Shur Tapa district yesterday evening. There is no update from the situation as no telecommunication company is operating there, he said.
The Taliban attack on Firoz Nakhchir had been repelled by security and defense forces who are currently present in the district, confirmed Naqibullah Tatar, secretary for Samangan Provincial Council.
Mohammad Halim Fedayee, Paktia governor, also posted on his Facebook today that fall of Mirzaka district to the Taliban is a rumor made by the Taliban and the district is currently under the control of security and defense forces.
The Taliban have taken control over 73 districts across the country since May 01, beginning of foreign troop’s withdrawal.