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Afghanistan forces retake strategic eastern district from Taliban

5 September 2016 20:42

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Afghan government forces have retaken a strategic district in the war-ravaged country’s east, more than a week after it fell to Taliban militants.

Afghan officials said Jani Khel district in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktia was recaptured from the militants on Monday, adding that a clearance operation was still going on.

On August 27, Taliban militants seized the district in Paktia after five days of siege.

“If we do not retake it (Jani Khel) soon then Taliban can easily move from one province to another and can undermine security in at least three provinces,” Local governor Abdul Rahman Solamal had warned at the time.


File photo shows Taliban militants in an unknown location in Afghanistan.

 

Jani Khel sits at an intersection linking eight districts. It also connects Paktia with neighboring Khost province and Pakistan.

Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country still remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.

In late July, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it had recorded 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injuries in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2016.

The mission warned that civilian casualties had hit a record high this year, describing them as “alarming and shameful.”

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