Taliban claims it seizes 2 Afghan districts

After entering Farah City and then subsequently retreating, after seizing weapons and other war materials, the Taliban claimed it took control of two districts, one in Badghis province and another in Ghazni.

In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban said it took control of “Dara Boom district center, police headquarter and all the defensive check posts” in Badghis province after the “enemy fled.” Additionally, the Taliban claimed it overran the Jaghatu district in Ghazni province “after an intense gunfight of heavy and light arms.” The statement also said Taliban fighters captured “a sizable amount of war spoils” in Jaghatu.

While neither claim can be independently confirmed in the Afghan press, the Taliban has been credible when it says it takes control of a district. There have been no reports of the Taliban taking “Dara Boom,” which is Bala Murghab district. Resolute Support assessed Bala Murghab as “insurgent activity,” which equates to contested, as recently as Jan. 31. LWJ has assessed this district as “contested.”

Recently, there have been reports of heavy fighting in the districts of Jaghatu and Dara Khan in Ghazni. From TOLONews:

The clashes started on Tuesday night after dozens of Taliban insurgents attacked Zana Khan and Jaghato districts of the province, a member of the provincial council Hussain Reza Yousufi said.

He claimed that 13 security forces, mostly police, were killed in Zana Khan and nine police were killed in Jaghato, adding that “heavy clashes are still ongoing in the district since last night and the Taliban insurgents have also suffered heavy casualties.”

Resolute Support assessed Jaghatu as “government influenced” as recently as Jan. 31. LWJ did not have information available to properly assess the district.

The Taliban has overrun five districts since it announced the beginning of its 2018 offensive. The Afghan government claimed it recaptured two of them, however the Taliban refutes the government’s assertions.

LWJ assesses that the Taliban controls at least 40 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, and contests another 203. See Mapping Taliban Control in Afghanistan for more information.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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