Taliban captures more Afghan districts as fighting escalates Jun 11, 2021 0 74 12345 dpaKabul Taliban militants added to their recent military gains, winning control over two more districts in Afghanistan, one of them strategically important, officials said on Thursday.After two days of intense clashes between the Taliban and the security forces in Arghanj Khwa district in the north-eastern province of Badakshan, soldiers were forced to leave the last remaining checkpoints they were holding, local councillors Abdullah Naji Nazari and Mahboob-ul Rahman Talaat said.The councillors said that the district is strategically important since it is located only 10 kilometres from the provincial capital of Faizabad. It also connects at least 10 other districts in the province.In southern Afghanistan, the Taliban took another district in the province of Uruzgan, members of the provincial parliament Bismillah Jan Mohammad and Qudratullah Rahimi said.The security forces in the district of Chinartoo joined the militants since they had not received any supplies, the MPs said.After Gizab, this was the second district in Uruzgan that has fallen to the Taliban in recent days.In the meantime, the Taliban attacked a military base with a car bomb in the capital of Baghlan province, killing a number of members of the security forces while others were wounded, according to local councillors.It is the fifth consecutive day that the insurgents have succeeded in overrunning districts.The militants have seen a string of gains in the country. Since the beginning of the official withdrawal of the United States and other NATO troops in Afghanistan on May 1, at least 14 districts have fallen to the Taliban. Top US military General Kenneth McKenzie said in a statement on Monday that US troops had completed about 50 per cent of their withdrawal.Afghanistan has 34 provinces and around 400 districts. District centres serve as secondary-level administrative units, one level below the provinces. According to a UN report, in the past year the Taliban were able to capture five districts, four of which were recaptured by the government within several days.The Pentagon is now considering seeking authorization to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan security forces if Kabul or another major city is in danger of falling to the Taliban, according a New York Times report. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Palestine security officers killed during Israeli raid in West Bank Jun 11, 2021 0 2194 11 dead in Mumbai building collapse after monsoon rains Jun 11, 2021 0 366 Backlog takes India’s COVID-19 death toll for past day to over 6,000 Jun 11, 2021 0 355 Iranian candidate calls on young voters to help maintain status quo dpa Tehran Iranian presidential candidate Abdolnasser Hemmati has called on first-time voters to use their ballot to prevent a hardliner from taking office in upcoming elections and bringing about unwanted political .. Meth seizures up in Malaysia as cartels adapt to virus border curbs Bangkok: Seizures of methamphetamine in Malaysia soared last year, according to data published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which described the South-East Asian drug market as “highly .. Singapore eases COVID curbs but HK travel bubble kept on hold Bangkok: Singapore again postponed a planned “travel bubble” with Hong Kong, Singapore’s Transport Ministry said on Thursday, as the government announced domestic curbs would be relaxed from Monday. The ministry .. Demining charity will remain in Afghanistan after deadly attack Kabul: Despite an attack that left 10 of its demining personnel dead, British-American charity Halo Trust plans to stay and continue its work in Afghanistan, chief executive James Cowan said in a video published late on ..