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Taliban Capture District In Southern Afghanistan

File photo of a Taliban attack in Paktia province.
File photo of a Taliban attack in Paktia province.

The Taliban has captured a district in southeastern Afghanistan, along the porous border with Pakistan.

The militants captured the Jani Khel district of Paktia Province after heavy clashes with Afghan security forces late August 26.

The provincial governor’s spokesman, Naqibullah Atal, confirmed the fall of the district and said at least five policemen were killed and five others wounded in the clashes.

Abdul Rahman Solamal, the district governor, said Jani Khel fell to the Taliban because the central government and provincial leadership did not send in adequate reinforcements.

Solamal said after seizing the district the militants burned down his office and the houses of government employees and local policemen.

The fall of Jani Khel came as the Taliban escalates nationwide attacks.

Afghan forces backed by U.S. troops have engaged in heavy fighting in Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand Province, seeking to head off a potential Taliban takeover.

The Taliban have also seized large areas of the northern province of Kunduz -- where militants briefly seized the provincial capital Kunduz city last year in their biggest military victory in the past 15 years -- leaving Afghan forces stretched on multiple fronts.

Based on reporting by Tolo News and Khaama