KABUL, Afghanistan — After clashes durint the night of August 20, the Taliban claims to have taken over the Khan Abad district. Government sources confirm the take over, clashes are ongoing.
The Khan Abad district has been taken over by the same Taliban fighters who had attacked and controlled the Provincial capital of Kunduz last year. Their activities in the region have been going on for a while, and on this night, they attacked the district to show their muscles again.
The government sources have confirmed that the Khan Abad district was controlled by the Taliban, who had earlier shown their presence in the province, and fighting from Afghan forces is underway to retake control of the district.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense has confirmed the clashes in the Kunduz province, and have reported that the Afghan National Security forces and Coalition Forces joint operations have killed 75 “terrorists”, wounded two, and arrested 11 more.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the capture of the district, and said that the security forces taken under siege have no way out other than to surrender. Mujahid said that their fighters are going ahead to capture the Ali-Abad district too.
In another attempt, the Taliban intensified their fight in the Hesarak district of Nangarhar, where the security forces, with the help of air support, pushed the Taliban back to keep control of the district.
“The Khan Abad district admin center Kunduz, police headquarters, and all bases are overrun, dozens of gunmen killed and wounded, arms equipment seized”, says Mujahid.
The Afghan Television TOLONews showed reports of the people fleeing the infighting areas in vehicles and on foot.
Kunduz is one of the strategic provinces of Afghanistan connecting the country to Tajikistan; earlier reports surfaced in the media after the Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour stated he had met the Russian officials in Iran, and after meeting on his way, was killed in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.
According to analyst Safdar Dawar, a journalist from Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), who keeps focus on the militants’ movement in the region, Russia and the Central Asian countries where religious militancy is underway are in fear of the Islamic State spread in the region; this may be the reason they want to keep ties with the Taliban leadership.
Safdar sees the Taliban to remove the Islamic State presence from Central Asian nations and China in the form of political and diplomatic contacts.