At least seven Afghan troops have been killed and 20 wounded in three days of intense fighting with Taliban militants in a district in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province, officials said on Wednesday. 
The district of Baghlan-e Jadid, which borders the embattled province of Kunduz, has been under a Taliban siege since Monday when it was attacked from several directions.
Some 200 to 300 Taliban militants took part in the offensive, provincial council members from Baghlan and the district governor told DPA. 
While confirming the casualties amongst Afghan security forces, Gawhar Khan Baburi, the district governor of Baghlan-e Jadid, said about 16 Taliban fighters were dead and 25 injured.
On Wednesday, reinforcements arrived in the form of special forces and more air support, said Baburi.
A key highway that connects the capital, Kabul, to northern Afghanistan was blocked because of the fighting. 
Baburi said it had reopened to traffic, but two provincial council members from Baghlan, Firozuddin Aymaq and Siamuddin Nazar, said it was still inaccessible. 
Aymaq said that Taliban militants were using civilian houses in densely populated areas to attack Afghan security forces, which could lead to more civilian casualties and displacement in the province. 
"Civilian life in Baghlan-e Jadid city is totally disrupted, there is no movement of the public and all shops are closed," Aymaq said. 
Baghlan is one of the most embattled provinces in northernAfghanistan where troops are fighting a resilient Taliban insurgency since the end of Nato's combat mission in 2014.
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