Afghan troops purportedly recaptured Khanabad district in Kunduz province from Taliban fighters Aug. 20, provincial Gov. Asadullah Omarkhel said, BBC reported. Local sources partly contradicted the announcement, saying that Taliban cadres were still in positions near the district headquarters. The government's goal is to reopen the road to the city of Kunduz, which lies about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west. The Taliban took control of Khanabad district earlier Aug. 20 and made gains in other parts of Kunduz province. In the city of Kunduz, eyewitnesses said government officials were seen fleeing to the airport as fighting reached the gates of the city. Fighting against the Taliban is ongoing in nearly half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, with militants making notable advances in Baglan province, Helmand and Nangarhar. Of particular concern to the U.S. and Afghan governments is Helmand province, a strategic southern region that is home to a sizable Pashtun population and a considerable amount of opium.
Afghanistan: Government Recaptures Khanabad District