The Taliban militant group has overrun large parts of an army base in Afghanistan’s northern Province of Faryab and captured dozens of soldiers there, officials say.
Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, the head of the council, said on Tuesday that the militants had captured tanks and ammunition in the Chenayeeha army base in Faryab’s Ghormach district after they began an offensive on the base on Sunday.
“We have not been able to enter the base. Large parts of the base are still under the Taliban control,” he said.
The Taliban have reportedly killed at least 14 soldiers and wounded over a dozen in the fighting.
Another provincial official said the Taliban had also captured 40 soldiers, adding that 30 militants had also been killed in the fighting.
The offensive coincides with fierce fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban militants over the embattled city of Ghazni, in the country’s southeast, which has claimed the lives of about 100 policemen and soldiers, as well as at least 20 civilians since last week.
The multi-pronged assault on Ghazni, located barely 120 kilometers from the capital Kabul, began on Friday, with militants reportedly infiltrating people’s homes and slipping out into the night to attack Afghan forces.
Both the government and the militants have claimed to be in control of the strategic city amid ongoing intense fighting.
The Taliban militant group launched the assault on the key provincial capital in the early hours of Friday.
US-led forces invaded Afghanistan and toppled a ruling Taliban regime some 17 years ago. That war has failed to bring stability to the country despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces.
A recent survey found that the Taliban were active in two-thirds of the country and were fully controlling four percent of it.
While the Taliban have intensified their attacks in Afghanistan, they have rejected an offer of peace talks by the Kabul government but have been talking to the US in negotiations the details of which are unclear.