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Hundreds of Taliban insurgents have stormed and seized control of the administrative headquarters of a district in northern Afghanistan where fighting has raged for days, officials said on Tuesday.
Amanuddin Aman, spokesman for the police chief of Sari Pul province, said hundreds of militants had surrounded and attacked the Kohistanat district HQ on Tuesday morning.
Provincial police chief General Mohammad Asef Jabarkhail added that reinforcements had not been sent to back up the police, around 60 miles from the provincial capital, resulting in the forced surrender of one commander and seven of his men.
"Right now we are working on a plan to launch a joint operation to retake the district from the Taliban," Jabarkhail added.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement that the group's gunmen now control the entire Kohistanat district and had seized police vehicles, weapons and ammunition.
Over the past few days, the Taliban have increased their attacks on government posts across the country, particularly in northern provinces.
In Kunduz province, bordering Tajikistan, Taliban fighters also attacked Khan Abad district late on Monday, and had taken control of a number of villages, said Sarwar Hussaini, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.
"Afghan security forces have been sent in to support the locals fighting the Taliban to take back control of the lost villages," he also said.
Kunduz has been battling insurgency since the Taliban launched their summer offensive in April and joined forces with other regional insurgents.
The fighters have come close to the provincial capital on a number of occasions, and maintain a heavy presence in the surrounding districts.
The Taliban also released a media statement claiming responsibility for the Kunduz attacks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.