Taliban unleash large-scale assault on Nuristan
JALALABAD (PAN): At least two militants were killed and three policemen injured after hundreds of insurgents launched a massive attack on police posts in eastern Nuristan province, which borders Pakistan, on Tuesday, officials said.
Laced with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns, about 400 militants pounded checkpoints around a base housing police-reserve units located about 11 miles (18 kilometers) south of the provincial capital of Paroon, police chief, Shamsur Rahman Zahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said clashes were still ongoing in Chitras and Koshtal areas. So far three policemen have been injured and two attackers killed, he said.
He said police were offering a stiff resistance to block the attackers from advancing toward the capital. Earlier, Zahid said the checkpoints had held their ground and had been reinforced by more police from Paroon.
He said they had requested NATO forces and the Afghan army for help, but they did not respond as yet. Other units had been directed to help policemen fighting the attackers.
He said there were no Afghan army or coalition forces in the area and that they were trying to send police reinforcements from other districts.
Taliban-led insurgents are active in the mountainous province, where they captured the Waigal district this year.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the clashes had stopped in the afternoon. He claimed two policemen were killed and six others wounded in the attacks.
The fighters launched simultaneous attacks on four security posts near Paroon city, he said, and acknowledged injuries to only two fighters.
Zahidi said Arabs, Chechens and Pakistanis were among the fighters who ha crossed into the country from Pakistan. But Mujahid denied foreigners were among the fighters.
The large-scale attack in the remote mountainous eastern province, which is largely under Taliban control, is the second significant strike staged by the Taliban on government forces in less than four days and just one week after US commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The first attack came over the weekend in the southern city of Kandahar, where the Taliban attempted a full frontal assault on government buildings across the city.
The Taliban have said the Kandahar attacks were planned well before bin Laden's death and were part of their spring offensive.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.