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Afghan Taliban Seize Control Of Southern District

Afghanistan -- Members of the Afghan security forces take their positions during an operation against Taliban in Sangeen district of Helmand province, July 29, 2016

An Afghan official says the Taliban has seized control of a strategic district in the poppy-growing province of Helmand, although the governor's office said there was ongoing fighting between militants and Afghan forces.

Abdul Majeed Akhonzada, deputy director of the provincial council, told the AP news agency that the Kanashin district had "fallen into Taliban hands."

Akhonzada said the Taliban's seizure of the district, which borders Pakistan, means the militants "control of 60 percent of Helmand."

Much of Marjah, Sangin, Garmser, and Dishu districts had already fallen to the Taliban.

The Helmand governor's spokesman, Omar Zwak, said that clashes are still ongoing between Afghan troops and Taliban militants in parts of the district.

Zwak said 20 militants and one Afghan policemen were killed after dozens of Taliban fighters launched an attack on July 29 in the Kanashin district.

Based on reporting by AP and Tolo News