On February 22, the Taliban announced that its fighters have imposed control over the district center of Maruf in the southern province of Kandahar following a rapid attack.
“Only the district headquarter was under the control of the regime, which has been under tight siege and heavy attacks of Mujahedeen for the last 2 years, this forced the enemy to flee today while setting all the installation on fire,” the Taliban’s news agency Voice of Jihad said in press release.
According to Voice of Jihad, Taliban fighters captured loads of weapons and military equipment which had been left behind by Afghan government forces.
The Taliban already control the districts of Registan, Shorabak, Mayan-e-Sheen and Ghorak in Kandahar. The Afghan government has not commented on the loss of Maruf as for now.
The attack on the district center was a part of the Taliban’s spring offensive, codenamed “Operation al-Khandagh.” The offensive was launched on April 25 in response to Washington’s decision to increase the US military presence in Afghanistan.
Observers believe that the Taliban is increasing its pressure on the Afghan government and the U.S. by launching such attacks in order to impose its conditions in any future political agreement.