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Taliban overruns key district in Helmand province

Published 21/12/2015

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani had been warned that Helmand was in danger of falling into Taliban hands
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani had been warned that Helmand was in danger of falling into Taliban hands

Taliban fighters have overrun a strategic district in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, delivering a serious blow to government forces.

Helmand d eputy governor Mohammad Jan Rasulyar said the insurgents had taken control of the Sangin district after days of fighting. Only Afghan army buildings had not been overrun, he said, adding that fighting was continuing.

On Sunday Mr Rasulyar took the unusual step of using Facebook to warn President Ashraf Ghani that Helmand was in danger of falling if central authorities failed to send help.

He said more than 90 security forces died fighting in the past month.

Helmand is an important Taliban base as it produces most of the world's opium, a crop that helps fund the insurgency.

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