First Lieutenant Nathan Perry, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, said reports indicated the Afghan forces encountered no resistance in Rashidan on Friday.

 

Taliban fighters have in the past briefly overrun remote district centres before Afghan or Nato forces again push them out. But Taliban fighters also control several areas in southern Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand province.

 

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the fighters attacked Rashidan on Thursday night and captured eight police and the local government leader, whom he named as Ghulam Shah.

 

Rashidan is a district far off the main highway that circles Afghanistan. It lies roughly 100km southwest of Kabul, the capital.