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Afghan forces abandon western district after Taliban pressure

Afghan forces abandoned a remote district in the west of the country, leaving the area to Taliban insurgents. The government had failed to re-supply dozens of troops stationed there, provincial officials said on Wednesday. The Shebkoh district of Farah province, bordering Iran, has been under Taliban siege for months. Mosa Nazari, deputy governor of Farah, said Afghanistan’s military leadership faced difficulty reinforcing the troops and it had been decided to withdraw in order to avoid casualties. “The plan to leave the district was there for months and it was finally decided,” Nazari told Reuters. The forces withdrew all ammunition and vehicles to the provincial capital of Farah, he said. The Taliban said in a statement the government abandoned the district after a heavy firefight overnight, and the group seized an amount of ammunition.