After rolling up military successes at multiple border checkpoints, the Taliban could be checked by the Afghan army during a fight for a key city in northern Afghanistan.

Taliban fighters have met fierce resistance in their attempt to take Taluqan, the provisional center of Takhar province, which is in the north of Afghanistan and borders Tajikistan, according to Reuters.

Afghan security forces, aided by air power, held off Taliban assaults that took place Sunday, officials said

The Taliban on Thursday seized the Afghan border crossing with Iran, according to The Associated Press.

The seizure was the fifth border crossing to fall under Taliban control in the past week, according to Reuters. Borders with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Pakistan are now controlled by the Taliban.

The Taliban surge is taking place as U.S. forces are in the process of leaving Afghanistan. The withdrawal is expected to be completed by Aug. 31.

“The enemy’s offensive attacks were repelled, and they suffered heavy and unprecedented casualties, as a result of which 55 enemy soldiers were killed and 90 were wounded,” said Abdullah Qarluq, the governor of Takhar province, according to Reuters.

“The Taliban attacked Taluqan from four directions last night (Saturday), but were faced with strong resistance from security forces and (local) people,” Khalil Asir, spokesman for Takhar Police Command, told the news outlet.

Last week, Taliban fighters briefly entered the capital of one western province before being beaten back.

India is withdrawing diplomatic staff from its consulate in Kandahar, which is located in southern Afghanistan.

“Due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being,” Arindam Bagchi, chief spokesperson at India’s foreign ministry, said in a statement, Reuters reported.

Taliban officials have claimed they control 85 percent of the nation, but Afghan officials say that is just a propaganda claim.

“Claiming territory or claiming ground doesn’t mean you can sustain that or keep it over time,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, according to the New York Post. “And so I think it’s really time for the Afghan forces to get into the field – and they are in the field – and to defend their country, their people.”

During an on “Fox News Sunday,” Kirby told host Chris Wallace that the situation is worrisome.

“We’re certainly watching with deep concern, Chris, the deteriorating security situation and the violence which is, of course, way too high, and the advances and the momentum that the Taliban seems to have right now,” he said.

Kirby said U.S. officials are working with the Afghan armed forces “to encourage them to use the capacity and the capability that we know they have, and we know that they know how to defend their country.”

“We are not walking away from this relationship,” Kirby said. “We’re going to continue to support them from a financial perspective, logistical perspective and certainly aircraft maintenance.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says a humanitarian crisis is brewing.

 “We are concerned about our lack of access to be able to provide essential medicines and supplies and we are concerned about attacks on health care,” WHO regional emergencies director Rick Brennan said.

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