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Afghan forces retreat from several districts

AT News

KABUL: The government forces have retreated from several district compounds in the northern provinces of Badakhshan and Parwan, and southern Helmand and Kandahar.

Government forces have left two districts in the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, the southern area with Kandahar known as Taliban birthplace where the insurgent group emerged for the first time in 1990s.

Officials in Kandahar province said that government forces evacuated the Nesh disrtrict late Sunday. However, the officials who were speaking on condition not to be identified, refused to comment whether the district had fallen to Taliban.

Some 75 soldiers and police were deployed in the Nesh district, according to officials.

The forces have not yet arrived in Kandahar city, the provincial capital with the same name after several hours of leaving Nesh which is not so far from the city, officials added.

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed on Twitter that their fighters captured the Nesh district in Kandahar and Nawa in the neighboring province of Helmand.

Another official in Kandahar confirmed that Nesh had fallen to the insurgents. The official said that Nesh was in Taliban siege for a year.

Nawa in Helmand province is the second district in the south from where government exited.

All the roads to the district were blocked by Taliban for several months, according to officials in the province. The government forces left Nawa to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah city, though the provincial governor office did not comment.

Also the Taliban have purportedly overrun more than 20 districts in the northern province of Badakhshan. According to some sources, severe clashes have been continuing in the outskirt of Faizabad, the capital city of the province.

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