Taleban capture Afghan district, kill governor

An Afghan policeman walks at the government district building after a Taleban attack in Khawaja Omari district of Ghazni province, Afghanistan, on April 12, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

GHAZNI, AFGHANISTAN (REUTERS) - Taleban militants captured a district in Afghanistan's Ghazni province near the provincial capital early on Thursday (April 12) and killed more than a dozen people, including the district's governor, a police official said.

Ghazni's Khawaja Omari district was considered one of the province's safest districts.

The militants killed district governor Ali Dost Shams, his bodyguards, seven police officers and five government intelligence agents, said Ghazni deputy police chief Ramazan Ali Mohseni.

The Taleban then torched the district headquarters, he said.

Taleban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement 20 police officers were killed in the attack.

The fall of Khawaja Omari to the Taleban extends their territory closer to the provincial capital, also called Ghazni, a city of 150,000 people 150km South-west of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Fighting in Afghanistan traditionally increases in the spring ,when warmer weather melts snow blocking mountain passes, increasing the mobility of the insurgents.

The Taleban usually announce the launch of a spring offensive in April.

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