Battle between Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified as foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw from the war-torn country.
The Taliban has continued to advance on urban centres in Afghanistan after capturing smaller administrative districts in the past weeks, claiming to have taken over a sixth provincial capital in four days.
The Afghan forces have meanwhile tried to push back the Taliban’s advance, alleging to have killed more than 500 members of the armed group.
The battle between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified as foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw from the war-torn country by August 31.
Here is the latest:
Taliban seizes sixth Afghan province
Taliban fighters took control of another provincial capital in northern Afghanistan, the sixth to fall in the past four days, officials confirmed.
The group captured the main government facilities in Aybak, the capital of Samangan province, according to provincial councillor Raz Mohammad and two lawmakers representing the province in the parliament.
Pro-government forces abandoned the city and fled to a hilltop called Koh-e-Bast after the central government failed to send reinforcements, one of the lawmakers said.
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At least 27 children killed in Afghanistan, UN says
At least 27 children have been killed and 136 injured across three provinces of Afghanistan over the past three days amid escalating violence, the UN children’s agency said.
“The atrocities grow higher by the day,” UNICEF country representative Herve Ludovic De Lys said in an emailed statement.
Afghan forces claim killing more than 500 Taliban
The Afghan forces claimed to have killed more than 500 Taliban fighters in air and ground offensives in the past 24 hours.
The defence ministry said the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Khost, Logar, Paktia, Kandahar, Herat, Farah, Jawzjan, Samangan, Helmand, Takhar, Kunduz, and Panjshir provinces.
Some “579 Taliban terrorists were killed and 161 others were wounded as a result of Afghan ANDSF (National Defense and Security Forces) operations”, it said.