Baku. 11 May. REPORT.AZ/ The Taliban have taken control of a key district in northwestern Afghanistan's Badghis province amid heavy fighting with security forces, a local council chief told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
The Afghan Ministry of Interior denied that Jawand, the largest and most populated district of Badghis, had fallen.
According to the provincial council chief of Badghis, Haji Bahauddin Qadesi, about 1,000 Taliban militants attacked the district’s administration buildings and the main bazaar.
“The Taliban had been preparing for a coordinated attack for the past two days. They overran the district at 2 am (local time) Sunday," Qadesi said.
"The district governor and police chief have withdrawn along with their forces to Deh Garm area where they have been surrounded by the Taliban," he added.
Jawand district is an important intersection to control neighboring districts and could be used by the militants to establish a supply route to northern provinces of Afghanistan.
Sediq Sediqi, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, denied the Taliban overran the district, but said that Afghan army commando forces had been sent to the area.
“Very soon the situation will be under control,” Sediqi said.
Earlier on Sunday morning, a group of suspected Taliban militants stormed a compound of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency in the southern city of Kandahar, injuring four security members, a local official said.
Also on Sunday, a U.S, drone strike was reported in eastern Afghanistan that allegedly killed Taliban’s shadow district governor Mullah Gul Agha and a dozen other militants, local police said.
Despite informal talks between Afghan government representatives and the militant group in Qatar recently, the fighting in Afghanistan has escalated after the Taliban launched their so called spring offensive in April.
In April, thousands of militants had stormed the Afghan city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan in an attempt to seize control of the province and its outlying districts. Hundreds of Taliban, Afghan troops and civilians were killed and injured in the incident.