Fighting in Afghanistan intensifies as over 80 killed in 3 days, 2 districts taken by Taliban

2021-06-07 14:35:20 GMT2021-06-07 22:35:20(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

KABUL, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Fighting in Afghanistan has intensified as more than 80 people have been killed and two districts have been taken by militants over the past three days.

Fighting has increased amid the visit of the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and his meeting with Afghan leaders including President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Sunday.

A UN-led peace conference on Afghanistan was supposed to be held in March in Turkey but has been repeatedly postponed due to the Taliban's reluctance to attend it, according to local media reports.

Taliban militants reportedly captured Qaisar district in the northern Faryab province on Saturday night, and overran the beleaguered Shahrak district in the western Ghor province on Sunday night.

Abdul Zahir Faizada, governor of Ghor province, confirmed the incident, saying the security forces have made "tactical retreat," and would soon launch operations to recapture the district.

The official also confirmed that eight security personnel and 13 militants have been killed for the control of Shahrak district and nearly a dozen others injured.

Afghan government forces have also intensified operations mostly in the shape of airstrikes in the country.

In the latest waves of air attacks, the fighting planes struck a Taliban hideout in Deh Dushanbe village outside Pul-e-Alam city, capital of the eastern Logar province on Monday afternoon, killing 13 insurgents and injuring seven others, an army statement said.

On Sunday, airstrikes against Taliban militants in parts of the eastern Paktia province killed 50 militants, provincial governor Mohammad Halim Fedai said.

In the meantime, Zabihullah Mujahid, who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit, in contact with media rejected the claims, saying the armed group has inflicted casualties on government forces elsewhere in the country.

Mujahid also said the Taliban would continue to fight until the foreign troops are completely withdrawn.

"Both the warring sides would do their best to gain more ground ahead of the proposed peace conference in Turkey to get concession at the intra-Afghan talks," local observer Nazari Pariani told Xinhua. Enditem