Afghan security forces and militant fighters are locked in a battle for control over a remote district in northeastern Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday.
Police and local officials evacuated their compounds in the central district of Yamgan in Badakhshan province on Saturday as militants laid siege to the area, provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adib said with reports suggesting the district had fallen to the militants.
“But they now are fighting to take back control of the district,” Adib said. “We have enough forces to take the district back and keep it in future.”
Six militants were killed by Afghan security forces during the clearance operation, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said on Twitter.
Fighting in Afghanistan intensifies each spring as snows that make mountainous areas impassable melt, allowing greater movement of fighters and weapons. The Taliban’s offensive has been more aggressive and widespread than previous years, including an earlier attack in Badakhshan’s Jorm district in April.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesman said its fighters had killed 18 Afghan security force members, though the insurgent group’s claims of casualty numbers are often inflated.