Faizabad (Afghanistan), Jul 3 (IANS): A heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban rebels broke out in Afghanistan's northern Badakhshan province, killing 20 Taliban militants and three soldiers, an army officer in the province Captain Abdul Razaq said on Saturday.
"A total of 20 Taliban rebels and three soldiers have been killed in Badakhshan over the past 24 hours," Razaq confirmed to local media.
Ten more insurgents and five security personnel had been injured, the officer added.
In the meantime, some locals on the condition of anonymity said that the Taliban fighters had captured the headquarters of Tagab, Kishim, Tashkan and Shahr-e-Buzarg districts of Badakhshan over the past 24 hours, the Xinhua news agency reported.
However, Badakhshan's provincial government spokesman Nik Mohammad Nazari in talks with Xinhua has denied the fall of the districts to the Taliban militants, saying that the fighting has been continuing.
Taliban militants have intensified activities since the start of the pullout of US-led forces from Afghanistan on May 1.