Taliban militants have seized a district in the northeastern Kunduz province in Afghanistan on Saturday, 20 August. Head of the Kunduz provincial council has warned the government that the insurgents could take over the province like in 2015 if immediate action is not taken to halt their advances.

Confirming the incident, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reportedly said their fighters have captured the entire Khan Abad district in Kunduz province and have also seized weapons and military vehicles.

Mohammadullah Bahej, spokesman for the provincial police chief, said Taliban insurgents attacked the district headquarters from different directions. He added that the security forces are now planning to launch a counter-attack to retake the area from the militants. Meanwhile, Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the Kunduz provincial council chief, said hundreds of civilians have fled the violence-hit area. He added: "If the central government does not pay attention to Kunduz, the Taliban will overrun Kunduz city as they did last year", Associated Press reported.

According to the defence ministry in the country, their forces are fighting against militant insurgency in at least 15 of the 34 Afghan districts. The biggest threat in Kunduz province is to the capital area.

The war-torn country is currently combating international terror group Islamic State (Isis) as well as home-grown terror outfits like the Taliban, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Last week, Taliban militants seized a district in the northern Baghlan province, while Afghan forces are engaged in heavy fighting with militants in the southern Helmand and eastern Nangarhar provinces. Top US and Nato commander General John William Nicholson, who is heading the US forces in Afghanistan, recently urged India to increase military assistance to the neighbouring country to enable the Afghan government to drive out terrorists from their soil.

Taliban fighters
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have seized the Khan Abad district in Kunduz province - File photo Stringer Afghanistan/Reuters