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Five districts fall to Taliban in north

AT News

KABUL: Taliban militants have captured five districts in the northern provinces of Baghlan and Balkh, government officials confirm.

The insurgents claimed on Monday to have captured districts of Doshi and Jelga in Baghlan. They also claimed that their fighters took control of the districts of Sholgara, Dawlat Abad and Kashenda in Balkh province.

Aref Eqbali, police chief for the Sholgara district and Jalaluddin Qarizada, district governor for Dawlat Abad confirmed that the districts fell to the insurgents.

Gholam Farooq Khpalwak, deputy governor for Balkh province also confirmed the fall of Kashenda district.

Gholam Sakhi Lala, a member of provincial council, said of security forces’ casualties in the Kashenda district, adding that a number of government forces are besieged in the district.

Officials in Baghlan province did not immediately comment on the fall of two districts.

The Taliban spokesman on Monday claimed that their fighters took over Balkh and Chamtal districts of Balkh province. The spokesman also asserted that the group took control of Dawlatabad and Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province.

Taliban on Sunday claimed to have captured 17 districts in different provinces, but the allegations were rejected by government.

Meanwhile, government forces have said to have retaken two (Bangi and Khwaja Ghar) of six districts earlier fallen to Taliban in Takhar province in the northeast.

The defense ministry says that they are fully prepared to retake the districts they had lost in recent weeks.

In Faryab, a province in the northwest, government’s reinforcement sent to Maimana city the provincial capital to prevent Taliban’s advance. Local officials have assured that the provincial capital wouldn’t fall.

Officials in Kabul also urge support of public uprising.

“The government should arm and finance public uprisings because it is very important, if not, they will turn to anti-government currents,” said Mir Rahman Rahmani, parliament speaker.

Acting interior minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal in a cyber meeting with police chiefs, ordered for a change in war strategy.

He warned those who remain careless in defending the country would lose their jobs and would be tried.

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