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Taliban captures Sangin district in Afghanistan

Taliban captures Sangin district in AfghanistanThe Taliban captured a key district in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Thursday.

This is reported by Associated Press.

The fall of Sangin district, once considered the deadliest battlefield for British and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, comes amid the insurgents' year-long push to expand their footprint in the Taliban heartland of Helmand.

Since the withdrawal of foreign NATO combat troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, and with only a smaller, U.S.-led advise and training mission left behind, Sangin has been seen as a major test of whether Afghan security forces can hold off advancing Taliban fighters.

The district's police chief, Mohammad Rasoul, said the Taliban overran Sangin centre early on Thursday morning.

Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, also issued a statement claiming the Taliban capture of Sangin.

Afghan security forces were now amassing nearby for a full-scale counter-attack in a bid to retake Sangin, Rasoul added, though he did not say when the assault would occur and how many forces would be involved.

"We are preparing our reinforcements to recapture the district," Rasoul said.
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