Pakistani forces fighting in Sangin: Naeem
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The governor on Thursday claimed Pakistani forces were fighting alongside Taliban militants against Afghan security personnel in the Sangin district of southern Helmand province.
Mohammad Naeem, who met tribal elders from the troubled district in Lashkargah, said the attacks in Sangin were planned in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Days of clashes in various parts of Sangin have so far resulted into the killing of about 166 people, including more than 100 militants. A number of civilians and security personnel have also been killed and wounded so far, according to reports.
The clashes involving about 800 militants, including Pakistanis, have displaced around 3,000 families, local officials say.
Naeem told tribal elders from Sangin that militants had the plans to capture northern districts in Helmand, but Afghan security forces were already prepared to resist them.
He said the security situation in Musa Qala, Kajaki and Nawzad districts was improving after the Taliban there were driven away, but some problems remained in Sangin.
The governor claimed a large number of foreign militants, mostly Pakistanis, and Pakistani security officers were fighting alongside local Taliban against Afghan forces in Sangin. But he added Afghan forces had received advanced weaponry and would be able soon to control the situation in Sangin.
Naeem said he was unaware about the exact number of casualties and promised early distribution of financial aid announced by President Karzai to the displaced families.
A tribal elder from Sangin, Shams Allah Sahrayee, who met the governor, asked the government to intensify efforts at controlling the unrest in their town.
He also requested President Karzai to announce more aid for the displaced families because his 5 million afghanis aid pledge would not meet needs of the displaced residents.
Sahrayee said the youth was forced into picking up weapons and fighting against government forces in areas where the militants were in control. He urged the government to help residents get rid of the situation.
Another tribal elder, Mohammad Hasham Alokozay said the displaced residents lived in the open amid scorching heat and lacked shelter.
He said there were many foreign militants involved in killing civilians, children and women, with some wearing masks could not be identified.
Representatives from the Ministry of Defence and Interior told a conference that areas fell to the Taliban in Helmand during the recent unrest would be recaptured soon.
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