North Afghanistan assault: Taliban takes five districts in Kunduz
Afghan security forces head into combat with Taliban militants in the Charkhab area of northeastern Kunduz province on August 20, 2016. (AFP/Bashir Khan Safi)
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After days of heavy fighting, Taliban militants have taken control of another of the five districts in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, provincial authorities said Saturday.
Taliban militants took control of Khan Abad's centre Saturday morning and raised their flag in a square, provincial council member Zargul Alimi said.
Kunduz is one of the most volatile provinces in the north, with its capital Kunduz city briefly falling to the Taliban last year. At least four districts are now either fully or in large parts controlled by the insurgents.
The Taliban also intensified attacks in Kunduz on Saturday by staging attacks in Alibad district, police officials said.
Kunduz' police spokesman Hijratulla Akbari confirmed heavy fighting in Alibad district, noting that Afghan security forces "didn’t lose ground."
He also confirmed the fall of Khan Abad in the morning.
The insurgents have increased attacks on several of Kunduz' districts since the holy month of Ramadan ended at the beginning of July.
Kunduz city has been without power since Thursday due to damage caused by fighting.
In other provinces fighting has also increased significantly. Larger Taliban offenses have take place in neighbouring Baghlan province, as well as in the southern province of Helmand where the Taliban have encircled the provincial capital Lashkagar.
By Hakim Mukhtar
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