Locals sources: Taliban take over two districts
Afghan forces leaving Zari district of Balkh province

Local sources: Taliban take over two districts killing 19 security forces

Two districts have fallen to the Taliban in the northern Balkh and the western Ghor provinces earlier this morning, local sources confirmed. As many as 19 security forces were killed, seven wounded, and a number of others were taken as hostages by the Taliban.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed that the Taliban militants have taken over administrative building of Balkh’s Zari district and its police headquarter this morning, June 12.

The Taliban have also seized a large number of ammunition from security forces, he added. Though he claimed that the militant have inflicted casualties on the Afghan defense and security forces but he did not provide a specific figure.

The 209 Shaheen Corps, however, denied the district’s collapse, adding that the district’s office was moved to Tashlekin wa Umkai village of Mazar-e-Sharif, capital city of Balkh province, for the district’s center was under siege and ineffective in its previous location.

A statement published by the Corps, said the facilities and forces stationed in Zari, moved to the village around 8:00 AM in the morning, today, June 12.  

In the meantime, MPs representing the western Ghor province in the Parliament, confirmed to Kabul Now that Tulak district of the province has fallen to the militants this morning, Saturday, June 12.

Atta Mohammad Dehqanpour, an MP, said the Taliban have taken over administrative building of the district and its police headquarter earlier today, June 12. Only one checkpoint on top of a hill remained under the control of security and defense forces but it is not yet clear whether the checkpoint has also fallen or not, he added.

According to the MP, the district governor, Suleiman Yusefi, has also surrendered to the Taliban along with a number of the government employees in the district. As per his account, 25 security forces were killed in Taliban attacks on the district’s center.

Ekramuddin Reza, another MP representing Ghor province, meanwhile, confirmed the death of 18 security forces in the Taliban attacks. Head of National Directorate of Security in Tulak, commander of People Uprising Forces, Fazl Ahmad Khan, are also among those killed in the Taliban attack, he added.

According to him, six security forces were wounded and some other were taken as hostages by the Taliban.

Ghor local and security officials have not yet commented on the issue.

The Taliban claimed they have overrun a big military base and three security checkpoints in Tulak district. As per the group’s account, as many as 20 security forces were killed in their attacks.

The number of districts falling to the Taliban has seen an ascending trend in recent days. With these two districts, the total number of districts taken over by the militants since May 01, beginning of foreign troop withdrawal, has risen to 15.

On Thursday, June 10, Mohammad Azam Afzali, a member of Takhar Provincial Council, confirmed to Kabul Now that the province’s Ishkamish district has fallen to the Taliban militants.

The districts fallen to the militant group are namely Nirkh and Jalrez in Maidan Wardak, Burka in Baghlan, Dawlat Shah in Laghman, Gizab in Urozgan, Deh Yak in Ghazni, Shinkai in Zabul, Du Ab and Mandol in Nooristan, Dawlatyar and Qaisar in Faryab, Shahrak and Tulak in Ghor province, Ishkamish in Takhar, and Zari in Balkh province.