Taliban captures another district in Afghanistan
Kabul, June 5 (IANS) Taliban militants have captured another district in Afghanistans eastern province of Nuristan, adding to recent military gains, officials said on Saturday.
Provincial councillor Saidullah Nuristani told dpa news agency that government forces have abandoned Doab district after 20 days of resistance.
According to Nuristani, the militants had blocked all the supply routes to the district, forcing the government forces to evacuate the district after being unable to receive any food supplies or ammunition from the central government for nearly a month.
Ismail Ateekan, an MP representing the province, claimed that the government forces had left the district without fighting, after an agreement that was mediated by the local tribal elders in the area.
In return, the insurgents did not attack them during the evacuation.
The district connects Panjshir and Badakhshan provinces to Nuristan, and the militants now pose a threat to the neighbouring Laghman province since they have besieged the Noorgram district in the province, according to MP Ateekan.
At least three districts have fallen to the Taliban since Thursday night.
Local officials confirmed the collapse of two districts in southern Zabul and Uruzgan provinces late on Friday.
Since the official withdrawal of the US and other NATO troops in Afghanistan on May 1, at least seven districts have fallen to the Taliban.
The Taliban have intensified attacks on provincial capitals, districts, bases and checkpoints. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been displaced in the past few weeks.
The withdrawal of international troops is due to be completed by September 11 at the latest.