'Rebel factions trying to infiltrate police ranks'
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): A senior Afghan military official on Saturday warned the insurgents had shifted their focus on northern Afghanistan to infiltrate the ranks of police to conduct insider attacks and threaten the security situation.
Addressing a passing out ceremony for a group of local police force recruits in Mazar-i-Sharif, 303rd Pamir Military Corps commander Gen. Baba Jan said that security-related incidents in northern parts of the country, particularly in Balkh province, had decreased with the deployment of the NATO-backed local police personnel.
He said some groups among the rebel factions were out to penetrate police lines in northern provinces to bring down the force's morale and image. However, he said the police had the ability to recognise such elements, capture them and hand them over to law enforcing agencies.
Baba Jan said the Afghan forces had been handed over the security responsibility for 124 districts in northern provinces, with foreign forces still controlling 22 towns. He said the security situation had improved in areas handed over to the Afghans.
The commander said the northern zone would be completely given in control to Afghan forces as part of the fourth phase of the security transition.
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