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Taliban Capture Remote Northern Afghan District

Map showing Kohistan district, Badakhshan province, in Afghanistan.
Map showing Kohistan district, Badakhshan province, in Afghanistan.

Afghan Taliban fighters captured the remote Kohistan district in northern Afghanistan after a fierce fight with Afghan police forces that left five police and militiamen dead.

A local member of provincial council said the Taliban then set fire to a court building and fired rockets at a police building, destroying it.

“Unfortunately, Kohistan district of Badakhshan came under control of enemy yesterday’s evening and we retreated,” Javid Salim, spokesperson for Afghan Special Forces in the north and northeastern zones of Afghanistan, told VOA.

He added that Afghan forces outside the district were planning to attack and take back control of district.

Tahira Sabah Alimyar, a member of the Badakhshan Provincial Council, told VOA that in addition to destroying the two buildings, the Taliban also cut telecommunications in the district.

A Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mojahid, said 11 Afghan security forces were killed, including four senior military officers. Mojahid also claimed that Taliban fighters destroyed some Afghan military equipment.

The Taliban took control of Kohistan shortly after the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported that out of 407 Afghan districts, the Taliban had control of 59 districts while Afghan government forces and the Taliban were fighting for 119 districts. The government of Afghanistan controls only 229 districts, according to SIGAR.

In other violence in western Afghanistan, a military police officer shot to death three fellow soldiers and escaped the region.

Jilani Farhad,a spokesperson for the Herat governor, told VOA that the soldiers belonged to Public Discipline Unit.

The incident took place in Boriabaf village in Herat's Pashtoon Zarghun district.

Mirwais Bezhan in Balkh and Khalil Noorzai in Herat contributed to this report.