KABUL: In a litany of territorial conquests by the Taliban, centers of two districts in northern Afghanistan have fallen to the insurgents following clashes since Friday, with high casualties among Afghan forces feared in Jawzjan province.
Amruddin Daneshjo, Jawzjan provincial council’s deputy head, has said the Taliban have captured the center of Mardian district in Jawzjan on Saturday morning.
He said at least 16 troops were killed and 14 more captured by the insurgents in the preceding clashes in the district.
Meanwhile, the 209 Shaheen Corps has 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 on Friday.
The Taliban also captured the center of Khwaja Sabz Posh district in Faryab on Friday night, according to Abdul Ahad Ail Bek, a member of the Faryab provincial council. He said that Gul Ekhtiar Arab, a security forces commander in Faryab, has surrendered to the Taliban with his personnel after reinforcements failed to reach to the area.
This is as the Taliban have captured roughly 30 districts across Afghanistan in a lightning offensive since the start of the U.S. military withdrawal on May 1 as Afghan security forces retreat or are forced out of the military bases in rural areas. The Defense Ministry reported clashes in 13 provinces on Friday.