Taliban seek to capture Afghan district, scores killed

Taliban seek to capture Afghan district
Kabul, Sep 26: Taliban militants have been fighting intense battles in recent days to capture a district in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni, an official said Friday.

"The militants have been fighting to take control of Ajristan district since the weekend. More than 100 security force personnel and civilians have been killed or injured over the period. The security forces repelled a massive attack early Friday morning, and the clash is still going on till the afternoon," Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy provincial governor, told Xinhua.

The Taliban have intensified attacks over the past couple of months as the NATO and US forces are withdrawing from the country. The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from NATO-led troops by the end of year.

The official also urged the government to urgently dispatch reinforcement troops to the area, adding "if the government fails to send the backup forces to Ajristan, the militants would run over the district headquarters in the coming days".

The province, with Ghazni city as its capital, is located 125 km south of Afghanistan's capital Kabul.

In southern Uruzgan province, hundreds of militants launched an attack on Gizab district and fired several rockets Thursday, killing and injuring many security forces personnel and civilians, according to district governor Abdullah Khan.

More than 41,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan. Nearly 29,000 of them are Americans and the US plans to trim its forces down to less than 10,000 next year.


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