Taliban Seize District Headquarters In Northwestern Afghanistan

Posted July 24, 2017

According to a report in Efe news, the Taliban, an insurgent group of Afghanistan waging war in the country, has kidnapped 70 Afghans and killed four of them in the Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan over the past 4 days. Moseni said the Taliban launched four assaults on Ghor's Taywara district headquarters early Sunday and "we had no choice but to retreat".

The Taliban overran Kohistan district in northern Faryab province after storming the district government's headquarters - which houses the police headquarters - late Saturday night, Abdul Karim Yourish, a provincial police spokesman said.

While much of Helmand province is under the control of Taliban, Afghan national security forces have been waging fierce battles to retake territory.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a US watchdog, estimates that the Taliban controls 11 districts and has influence over 34 of Afghanistan's 407 districts (11 percent), while the Afghan government controls 97 districts and influences 146 (60 percent).

The security forces are fighting with insurgents in Ghormatch, Qaisar, Almar, Belcheragh, Khwaja Sabzposh, Dawlat Abad Sherin Tagab and Kohistan districts of the province. Bigzad said another 20 members of a local police force were missing following a firefight on July 21.

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The motive of kidnappings is unclear but Taliban insurgents have been kidnapping civilians across the country, mainly on the highways where the Taliban insurgents stop the vehicles and kidnap the civilians for ransom or to bargain for the release of detained jihadis. It wasn't immediately clear if they had been kidnapped or whether they had escaped.

The kidnappings took place in the aftermath of a clash between Afghanistan troops and Taliban on the road connecting Uruzgan and Kandahar, in which the latter suffered "many casualties".

Bigzad says the area of the fighting is tucked inside a mountainous region where access is restricted and even telephone contact is erratic. Taliban have in the past exaggerated their successes and the remoteness of the area makes it near impossible to independently verify.

In recent days, Taliban have launched dozens of attacks in northern Afghanistan, temporarily closing a key highway between the capital Kabul and northern Afghanistan.