Taliban militants have captured a key district in Afghanistan’s northern province of Kunduz, officials say.

The fighters attacked from several directions and government troops were forced to retreat to Kunduz city, which briefly fell to the Taliban last year.

A lack of ammunition and reinforcements contributed to the fall of Khanabad district, the local authorities said.

The Taliban have made gains since international troops officially ended their active fighting role in 2014.

Afghan security forces are currently battling the insurgents in nearly half of the country’s 34 provinces.

Earlier this week, the Taliban captured a district in neighbouring Baghlan province and there has also been fighting in Helmand in the south and in eastern Nangarhar province.

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Image courtesy of EPA