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Afghan Reinforcements Sent to Helmand Province

  • VOA News

Afghan National Army soldiers guard at a checkpoint on the way to the Sangin district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 23, 2015.

Afghan National Army soldiers guard at a checkpoint on the way to the Sangin district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 23, 2015.

The Afghan government has sent reinforcements to the besieged southern district of Helmand province, after Taliban militants captured large parts of the area in recent days.

Fighting continues as army and police arrive to help security forces after days of clashes.

The Taliban began their advance on the Sangin district Sunday, after storming government buildings and capturing the administrative center.

Afghanistan's acting defense minister, Masoom Stanekzai, says he is hopeful that the government strategy will prevent another district from falling into insurgent hands.

On Tuesday, Britain sent a group of military advisers to the region help local forces in countering the insurgents.

Sangin is a major poppy-producing district in the Afghan region and a traditional Taliban heartland.

Helmand's provincial deputy governor warned Sunday that the province was on the verge of collapse to the Taliban unless reinforcements arrived urgently.

Reports say the Taliban is in control or contesting the majority of the province's 14 districts.

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