“Taliban fighters were seizing further territory in southern Afghanistan”

As NATO’s secretary general was meeting with Afghan leaders here Tuesday, Taliban fighters were seizing further territory in southern Afghanistan during a bloody fight with Afghan troops. The NATO chief, Jens Stoltenberg, praised Afghan security forces during a news conference with President Ashraf Ghani, but the loss in Helmand province was a blow to the government’s troubled efforts against the insurgency. The Khanashin district in Helmand fell to the Taliban after insurgents had “amassed” in the area “for days,” a local official said. Police and army personnel abandoned their posts outside government buildings after hours of fighting, another security official in Helmand said. Neither official was authorized to speak to the media. Both sides suffered casualties, the officials said”.

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