Afghan security forces on Wednesday claimed retaking two key northern districts and killing 119 Taliban as deadly turf war rages on in the war-torn country.
The country’s Defense Ministry said the Khan Abad district of restive Kunduz province and Dawlat Abad district in nearby Faryab province were recaptured last evening after the Taliban briefly overran these among a number of other districts.
“119 #Taliban terrorists were killed and 84 others were wounded as a result of #ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] operations in Ghazni, Paktia, Logar, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Herat, Faryab, Helmand, Kunduz, Baghlan, and Badakhshan provinces during the last 24 hours. Also, 38 IEDs were discovered & defused by #ANA [Afghan National Army],” tweeted the ministry.
Local authorities confirmed to Anadolu Agency that at least five civilians also lost their lives in an air raid by the security forces against the advancing Taliban in the Kunduz province.
A member of the Kunduz provincial assembly, Fawzia Yaftali, said the incident took place in the Khan Abad district that also injured 20 people, including children.
The Taliban, on the other hand, claimed killing at least 21 security forces in their mounting assaults on check posts and district administration compounds nationwide.
The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, also claimed via a statement that a military chopper was shot down in the restive central Ghazni province on Wednesday.
The Afghan authorities did not comment on it immediately.
According to local Tolo News, out of 387 districts and 34 provincial capitals, the centers of at least 17 districts have fallen to the Taliban over the last two months.
Since the announcement of an exit date of September 2021 for American troops by US President Joe Biden, Afghanistan has been witnessing a spike in deadly Taliban assaults across the country that has led to mounting casualties on all sides.
The most conservative estimates by local and international rights groups suggest that close to 47,600 civilians have been killed and more than double that number injured in Afghanistan during the 20 years of war since the US invasion.