Taliban overrun Paktia’s Janikhel district in eastern Afghanistan

Taliban467GARDEZ: Taliban have overrun the Janikhel district of southeastern Paktia province after fierce fighting with security forces, local officials confirmed on Saturday.

The militants also seized two key security posts in the embattled town near the Pakistanborder after hours of deadly clashes that left scores of people dead on both sides.

Naqib Ahmad Atal, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the district chief, police personnel and other officials had retreated to Chamkani district.  He said they were discussing plans to recapture the district.

Provincial council member Taj Mohammad Mangal said the battle for Janikhel left up to 50 security personnel dead and wounded, He put Taliban’s casualties at more than 200.

Mangal claimed the dead militants included dreaded Pakistani commander Hafiz Rashid.  The fighters had seized several vehicles and weapons, the public representative said.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the fighters brought Janikhel under their control. Dozens of security personnel had been killed and a huge quantity of weapons seized, he added. -Pajhwok


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