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Taliban seize strategic hub in embattled Faryab, killing 10

AT-KABUL: After a fierce overnight attack, the Taliban captured a strategic area of the Balcharagh district in northwestern Faryab province, killing 10 security personnel and wounding 14, officials said on Tuesday, highlighting an upsurge in violence in the wake of a fresh Taliban offensive.

Gulian area has 10 villages and 20 security check-posts and according to reports, the Taliban had their hands on a large cache of weapons and ammunition.

Taliban militants launched a fierce coordinated assault on Gulian area in Balcharagh on Monday night, engaging in a firefight with security forces till early in the morning, said an uprising group commander.

According to Dadullah, the assailants killed 10 security personnel, hurt 14 and captured 30 others, and captured the strategic area before any security reinforcements could be dispatched. He himself and his two bodyguards fled Taliban’s captivity, said Dadullah.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said Gulina had been captured in line with the movement’s annual spring offensive codenamed Al-Khandak. He claimed many security personnel had suffered casualties in the overnight attack. Weapons and ammunition had also been seized by the rebels, he concluded.

Confirming the collapse of Gulian locality to the Taliban, the district administrative chief Abdul Jamil also said the insurgents suffered heavy casualties.

Provincial council’s deputy chairman Sebghatullah Selabhas said the area was under constant threat of the Taliban and the issue had been brought up to the attention of NDS Chief and the corps commander, but they overlooked the calls.

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