Afghan local media reported early Thursday that the Taliban launched an attack towards Puli Khumri city, the capital of Baghlan province. The attack was stopped by Afghan forces and local people, the report added.
Afghan officials noted that armed clashes were exchanged between the two sides causing deaths and injuries. According to the statements by officials, four Taliban-affiliated people were killed during the clashes. Also, three Afghan soldiers lost their lives while five others were wounded. The officials added that three Afghan tanks were also destroyed in the fighting.
The incident came as part of series of attacks that the Taliban has intensified in recent times following the US’ military withdrawal, which is expected to be completed by September 11. It is seen that the Taliban has captured over at least 50 districts from Afghan forces since the beginning of the US withdrawal from the country on May 1.
Since then, heavy clashes have erupted in many districts across the country, causing heavy losses on both the Taliban and government forces.
Addressing the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, said, “Those districts taken surround provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn.”
Two days ago, it was reported that the Taliban seized Afghanistan’s main border crossing with Tajikistan. Shir Khan Bandar, located in the far north of Afghanistan about 50 km from Kunduz city was captured by the Taliban forces after a long one-hour clash, the Afghan officials reported.
Speaking to reporters, Kunduz provincial council member, Khaliddin Hakmi, said, “Unfortunately, this morning and after an hour of fighting, the Taliban captured Shir Khan port, the town itself, and all the border check posts with Tajikistan.”
The incident has been considered as the most significant gain for the Taliban after accelerating its operations.
Meanwhile, the intra-Afghan talks have continued in Qatar. Last week, the Taliban delegation traveled to Qatar, where they met with Afghan government officials on the issue. Any progress has not been reported yet.