The Taliban on Saturday claimed to have overrun at least five districts in various parts of war-ravaged Afghanistan amid escalating violence.
The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, stated in a series of tweets that the Taliban seized control of these districts in the southern provinces of Zabul and Uruzgan, as well as the central and eastern provinces of Ghazni and Nuristan, respectively.
The country’s Interior Ministry, however, rejected the Taliban’s claims, with spokesman Tariq Arian telling Anadolu Agency that the security forces only went on a “strategic retreat” in Zabul.
Prior to this, the Taliban claimed to have taken control of four districts in the Maidan Wardak, Baghlan, and Laghman provinces, which Afghan officials dubbed a “strategic retreat” in order to save civilian casualties.
This comes a little over three months before the complete departure of the US forces from Afghanistan, which already started on May 1, 2021. In the past 24 hours, at least 20 Afghan security forces were killed in three different provinces of the country, local officials confirmed to Anadolu Agency.