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A key Taliban commander arrested

Mullah Akhtar was arrested during a joint operation in Kabul province on Saturday night in Saleh Khali and Boya Zar villages in Shakar Dara district, the statement read.

Shakar Dara district is on the northern outskirts of Kabul city.

β€œHe (Mullah Akhtar) was involved in recent terrorist and destructive activities in Shakar Dara and extorting (money) from the residents,” read the statement.

The Taliban, however, in a statement claimed that the Afghan forces had arrested a civilian taxi driver and the man has nothing to do with the group.

This comes after an operation by Afghan security forces last week in the same district. Five Taliban insurgents were killed and two more wounded in the operation.

The presence of Taliban militants in the area has raised concerns in recent weeks – especially after a July attack by the group against a security checkpoint in Mir Bacha Kut district.

Meanwhile, reports emerged this past week of families fleeing the Shakar Dara district amid a growing Taliban presence in the area.

Concerns have also been raised as to the overall security threat this poses to Kabul city.