Taliban seize key Afghan district
Taliban fighters on Monday took over the Imam Sahib district in Afghanistan, a key area near the country’s border with Tajikistan, adding another territory to its recent takeovers.
The Associated Press reports that fighting began on late Sunday and the Taliban had overrun the district’s headquarters by mid-Monday, citing provincial police spokesman Inamuddin Rahmani. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed also confirmed that district had been taken over.
The Imam Sahib district’s proximity to the Tajikistan border makes it a key territory as it is located near a supply route from Central Asia.
Dozens of Afghan districts have fallen to the Taliban as U.S. and NATO forces continue to withdraw from the country, the AP notes. Both sides have suffered casualties in the fighting, though it is unclear exactly how many have died so far.
Despite the fighting, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said the organization was committed to peace talks and forming a “genuine Islamic system” in Afghanistan, though an official peace proposal has not yet been submitted. Talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban have reportedly slowed to a halt.
On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House would “continue to discuss how we can work together to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the U.S. homeland.”
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