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Taliban controls border crossing, Afghan forces retake two districts in Kunduz


Taliban militants launched a series of attacks in northern Afghanistan over the past few days, capturing the border town of Sher Khan with Tajikistan.


Ghulam Rabbani, a regional council official, said that fighting was still going on outside the provincial capital of Kunduz and that people were fleeing the city. In turn, the government announced that security forces had recaptured two districts in Takhar and that operations were still ongoing.


Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the movement's leadership asked the fighters to return after they reached the entrance to the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where their high command did not want to control the provinces until after the departure of all American forces.


The United States began withdrawing its forces on May 1 and handed over some bases to the Afghan government, which has since ceded some areas to the Taliban without a fight.


The government acknowledges that the Taliban took control of a number of areas, and that security forces conducted "tactical withdrawals".


Meanwhile, the main road connecting Kabul with the northern provinces has been closed to traffic for the past two days due to Taliban influence in Doshi district of Baghlan.


The Afghan Tolo News Agency said that at least 60 districts have either fallen into the hands of the Taliban, or government forces are fighting battles with the movement's fighters.

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