News - Afghanistan
Nawzad district of Helmand province collapsed into the hands of the Taliban on Wednesday, officials confirmed.
According to local officials in Nawzad district, intense fighting has been reported over the past two days between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters. Eventually on Wednesday afternoon the district collapsed to the Taliban.
A number of Senate House members also confirmed the collapse of Nawzad district.
"Over the past two days clashes in Nawzad district (have resulted in) nine policemen and seven ANA soldiers being killed and the whole district collapsed to the hands of Taliban," said Mohammad Hashim Alkozai a senator.
Last year a number of residents and local officials of Nawzad district of southern Helmand province raised concerns over the possibility of the district's collapse and takeover by the Taliban.
"It's no secret that the security situation is really bad," District Governor Sayed Murad Sadaat said. "We only have control over the official district building and some small areas."
They stress that if the government does not deploy additional troops to the district, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will lose the control.
Reports indicate that the infrastructure in the district has not developed much in the past 13 years and many residents are unemployed and live in poverty.
"We don't have security. We face danger every day when we leave our houses," Lal Gul one of the district residents said.
In addition, Taliban insurgents have seized control of Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul province and several villages in Kunduz province over the past few days, local officials said.
Ministry of Defense, Dawlat Waziri said that more troops will deployed to the north of Afghanistan and a large scale military operation will be launched.
Waziri said that the collapse of districts should not create panic among the people.
Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents reportedly also seized control of as many as 80 villages on Monday night in northern Kunduz province, officials said.
Afghan security officials believe however that the war increased in the north and east of the country after insurgent groups came over the border from Waziristan in Pakistan.
Concerns have however been raised over why Afghanistan did nothing to prevent the problem after Pakistan military forces launched an operation to clear insurgents from Waziristan.