File photo Photograph:( Reuters )
Taliban has seized several areas in the north and west from the Afghan government troops with US troop pullout just weeks away.
Afghan forces conducted airstrikes in the Shuhada district of Badakhshan province against Taliban militants, the country's defence ministry said on Friday.
The Afghan government said at least 20 Taliban militants were killed and several wounded including a commander. The latest assault by Afghan troops comes as the Taliban continues to engage in heavy fighting in several areas in the north and west.
Reports said the Taliban had struck a ceasefire deal with the government in the western province, however, it could not be confirmed.
Taliban had said earlier it had taken control of Spin Boldak district in the south which is a major border crossing with Pakistan, however, Afghan troops said they had taken back control of the area.
The militant group has captured key border crossing in Herat, Farah and Kunduz provinces with Afghan troops under pressure to retain control. Taliban had earlier claimed it had seized an important border town called Wesh in Kandahar and were in control of (Spin) Boldak and Chaman and Kandahar customs.
The militant group has said it has also captured border crossing along Turkmenistan and Iran.
The fighting in the past month intensified between Afghan troops and the militant group as US President Joe Biden announced that last US troops will pull out of the region by August 31.
On Wednesday, Tajikistan authorities said hundreds of refugees had poured into the country as the Taliban continued their offensive in the area.
Taliban had earlier seized Afghanistan's main Shir Khan Bandar border crossing with Tajikistan as 1,000 Afghan troops crossed over to Tajikistan.
(With inputs from Agencies)