Afghan forces battle Taliban in northern province

Army forces try to take back Badakhshan province's Yamgan district after it was taken by the Taliban.

    Afghan security forces and the Taliban are locked in a battle for control over a remote district in northeastern Afghanistan, officials said, a day after hundreds of Taliban fighters wrested control of the district.

    Army forces tried to take back Badakhshan province's Yamgan district on Sunday after it was taken by the Taliban, provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adib told Reuters news agency.

    "They now are fighting to take back control of the district," Adib said. "We have enough forces to take the district back and keep it in future."

    Reuters reported that up to 20 security forces had been killed in the attack and that they were waiting for reinforcements.

    Abdullah Naji Nazari, the head of the provincial council, on Saturday said the centre of Yamgan had been captured by the Taliban.

    Local fighters hold frontline against Afghan Taliban

    "The situation is tense and worrying if reinforcements are not sent in time," he said.

    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said fighters had taken control of several checkpoints and the district centre, killing several members of Afghan forces and seizing weapons.

    Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston, reporting from Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, said the country's north has become a new fighting front for the Taliban over the past two months, as part of its annual Spring offensive.

    "That area in the north is more exposed. There are not as many security forces up there," she said.

    In early May, at least 18 Afghan policemen were killed in a series of Taliban attacks in Badakhshan province.

    A surge in attacks has taken a heavy toll on civilians, according to the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan.

    In the first four months of 2015, civilian casualties jumped 16 percent from the same period last year, it said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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