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Defence ministry confirms Doab fighting

Defence ministry confirms Doab fighting

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On
May 25, 2011 - 15:10

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The defence ministry on Wednesday said fierce fighting was ongoing in Doab district of eastern Nuristan province, but did not confirm the fall of the remote town to Talibaninfo-icon insurgents.

Earlier in the day, officials said the fighters overran the district as a result of two days of clashes. In a tactical move, the security personnel withdrew from the district headquarters late on Tuesday night, the provincial police chief had told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Gen. Shamsur Rahman Nuristani said the town was currently controlled neither by security forces nor the insurgents.

Eight fighters and three policemen were killed during two-day clashes, said the district chief, Fida Mohammad, who added the fighting was still ongoing.

A defence ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi, told a news conference in Kabul soldiers based in neighbouring Nangarhar would be sent to the district, if needed.

ISAFinfo-icon spokesman Josef Blotz also verified the battle for Doab, but denied its fall.

A spokesman for the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon (HIA), Sher Agha, claimed they had captured the district together with the Taliban.

Twenty policemen had surrendered to the rebels along with their 50 weapons, he said.

A Taliban mouthpiece, Zabihullah Mujahid, also said they had wrested the district's control. However, he did not say anything about the HIA involvement in the fighting.

frm/mud

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