On July 28, Taliban fighters captured the district center of Khwaja Ghar in the northeastern province of Takhar after a successful rapid attack, according to the Taliban news agency Voice of Jihad. The Afghan group claimed that its fighters killed 18 personnel of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP) and injured 22 others during the clashes inside the district center.
A local source told the TOLO TV that the Taliban launched the attack on Khwaja Ghar from its positions in the nearby district of Dash-e-Archi. Furthermore, Afghan official confirmed to the Afghan TV channel that Taliban fighters entered the district center.
Later, Afghanistan’s Minister of Interior Wais Ahamd Barmak rejected the Taliban’s claims and said that the ANP and the Afghan intelligence are still clashing with the Taliban in Khwaja Ghar.
“Our police and NDS forces are defending Khwaja Ghar district very bravely and all government facilities are under police control … Some people in the media are saying the district has fallen and the minister is lying, we must not fall for the enemy’s war propaganda,” TOLO quoted Barmak as saying during a ceremony for the introduction of new commanders for the country’s airports.
Observers believe that the ANA, the Afghan intelligence and the ANP will manage to secure the district center of Khwaja Ghar, if the NATO provides them with close air support. Few months ago, the support of the NATO allowed the ANA to repel a bigger attack on the western city of Farah.