Two districts fall to Taliban in North as clashes continue

KABUL (Tolo News): The centers of two districts in northern Afghanistan have fallen to the Taliban following clashes in the last 12 hours with sources reporting high casualties among Afghan forces in Jawzjan province.

Amruddin Danishjo, the deputy head of the Jawzjan provincial council, said the center of the Mardian district in Jawzjan fell to the Taliban on Saturday morning. He said that at least 16 security force members were killed and 14 more captured by the Taliban in clashes in the district. Officials in Jawzjan have not commented on the fall of the district to the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Abdul Ahad Ail Bek, a member of the Faryab provincial council, said that the center of Khwaja Sabz Posh district in Faryab fell to the Taliban. He said that Gul Ekhtiar Arab, a security forces commander in Faryab, has surrendered to the Taliban with his personnel after they did not receive support.

Faryab officials have not commented on the report. This comes as the 209 Shaheen Corps in a statement on Saturday said that Mawlawi Sunnatullah, head of Taliban’s military commission, and eight others were killed in the Afghan Army’s operation in Qosh Tepa district in Jawzjan. Sources have said that more than 30 districts have fallen to the Taliban in the last two months. The Defense Ministry reported clashes in 13 provinces.

Meanwhile, clashes were reported in 13 provinces in the last 24 hours with security forces evacuating two districts in the north while retaking control of one district in the south. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that 258 Taliban were killed in security forces operations in Nangarhar, Laghman, Paktia, Zabul, Herat, Farah, Ghor, Faryab, Balkh, Jawzjan, Helmand, Takhar and Baghlan provinces in the last 24 hours. Taliban has rejected the figures.

The security forces evacuated from the center of Shirin Tagab district in Faryab and Dahana-e-Ghori district in Baghlan. The Defense Ministry said that security forces retook the control of Gereshk district in Helmand. Moreover, an Afghan National Army base was fallen to the Taliban in Maidan Shahr, the center of Maidan Wardak province, a source said. A base was fallen to the Taliban in Qala-e-Kah district in Farah province.

The Taliban launched attacks on Qala-e-Kah district in the last two days, sources said, adding that at least eight security force members were killed in the clashes. “There is the possibility that the city of Maimana (in Faryab) and Khawja Sabzposh district (in Faryab) will fall to the Taliban; therefore, there is a need for air support,” an MP Shafiqa Sakha Youlchi said.

“The Shirin Tagab district has been under siege for three years,” said Sibghatullah Silab, the deputy head of the Faryab provincial council. “The district will fall to Taliban due to lack of supply and weaponry.” According to Faryab provincial council, several military vehicles and equipment were seized by the Taliban in Shirin Tagab. Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said that operations have had progress in some of the areas that were evacuated by security forces.

Violence has intensified following the start of the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan. A parliamentary committee reported fighting on 200 fronts across the country in just a day. Moreover, at least 30 districts have fallen to the Taliban in the last two months. The negotiations in Doha have stalled after the announcement of the withdrawal of US and coalition forces by President Biden.

The negotiating teams from the Afghan Republic and the Taliban held a meeting later this week, discussing ways to hold future meetings, but the high level of violence has diminished hopes for progress in the negotiations. Moreover, top Pentagon officials said that militant groups like al Qaeda could pose a threat from Afghanistan to the United States and American allies in two years after the full withdrawal of international troops from the country.