November 5, 2007 – Taliban militants have taken control of a third district in western Afghanistan.
Local officials say the militants captured the Khaki Safed district in the western Farah province late Sunday, with police and government officials fleeing without a fight.
One police official told the French News Agency that Afghan police, army and NATO troops were able to retake control of the area just hours later.
This is the third district in the region to be captured by Taliban insurgents. Last week, militants overran the Bakwa and Gulistan districts in Farah province. Local officials say Afghan police often withdraw and do not put up a fight when being overrun by militants.
Taliban rebels have previously seized control of villages in remote parts of Afghanistan but are usually forced out by NATO troops. They have, however, maintained control of Musa Qala in southern Helmand province since early this year.
This year has been the deadliest in Afghanistan since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban government in 2001. Taliban militants have established strongholds in the south and east, attacking U.S. and NATO troops and Afghan soldiers in ambushes and suicide bombings.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.