Kabul, Jun 5 (EFE).- Taliban fighters have captured the Duab district headquarters in the eastern Nuristan province after days of laying siege to the city, even as violence has been on the rise across the country, officials said on Saturday.
The district center, including the administrative office and the police compound in the remote and mountainous Nuristan province, fell to the Taliban on Friday night after security forces retreated from the area, a senior police official told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
“It was a tactical retreat,” interior ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian confirmed.
The officials and security forces for the Mandol district, who had also been stationed in the same premises, have also retreated.
After capturing the district, the Taliban set the police facilities on fire.
“District center of Duab district of Nuristan including the police buildings and all its defensive check posts were conquered last night,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.
Separately, Mujahid shared a video purportedly showing around 30 members of the Afghan security forces surrendering on Friday to the Taliban at an outpost in the Chaki-Wardak district of central Maidan Wardak province.
He claimed that another 12 soldiers had surrendered to the insurgents in the northwestern Jawzjan province, along with posting a similar video.
Government officials in the two provinces have refused to comment on the surrenders.
The Ministry of Defense announced in its daily updates on Saturday that at least 181 Taliban fighters were killed and 83 were injured in the past 24 hours in six of the 34 Afghan provinces.
However, Duab has become the seventh district to fall to the Taliban since the beginning of the final phase of foreign troops withdrawing from the country..
On May 1, the United States and NATO started pulling out following an announcement by US President Joe Biden that they would withdraw all troops by Sep. 11, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that led to the invasion of Afghanistan.
“Taliban instead of focusing on intra-Afghan talks have concentrated on war,” Afghan National Security Council spokesperson Rahmatullah Andar said on Saturday.
He said that the insurgents have carried out 1,455 attacks across the country since May 1, although claiming that the Afghan forces had also inflicted “heavy casualties on the enemy.”
“After the withdrawal of foreign forces (May 1) Taliban carried out 1,455 attacks throughout the country and Afghan forces in counter-attacks inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy,” he said referring to the increasing Taliban violence in the country.
Negotiations between the government and Taliban have stalled after kicking off in September last year as a result of a February 2020 pact between the US and the insurgents ensuring the pullout of troops.
Both sides have announced that they are preparing to resume the peace talks in Qatar, but the exact date is yet to be announced. EFE