Police desert posts in Sangin as ANA troops leave
LASHAKARGAH (Pajhwok): Police have deserted their posts in the Sangin district of southern Helmand province soon after a military operation was wound up in the town and its adjacent areas, officials and some elders said on Tuesday.
The Afghan National Army (ANA) recently concluded a 50-day offensive codenamed “Zulfikar,” which the Ministry of Defence has declared as “successful” in Sangin.
A big gathering is scheduled to take place at the Shorab military base on Wednesday to brief participants about the just concluded operation in Sangin and its nearby areas against militants.
A government official in Sangin, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News the ANA troops had returned from northern areas of the district without establishing their posts there.
He said police deployed in security posts in the areas had been unable to protect the posts on their own and had to abandon them.
Since Tuesday morning, the source, said police had abandoned 18 posts in the district moving to the district centre. The official said insurgents had returned to areas abandoned by security forces.
A tribal elder in Sangin, Alishah Khan, dubbed the Operation Zulfikar as a failure, saying the offensive only resulted in destruction of people’s homes.
He said police abandoned their posts soon after ANA troops left the northern parts with their heavy weapons after spending a few days.
A member of the district social council, Haji Nasim, said the Taliban had again captured areas in northern Sangin and were in control of the highway.
“The ANA troops should have established their posts in areas they had captured, but they spent a few days and went back without doing so.”
The ANA’s 215th military corps in Helmand are reluctant to talk to the media and have been refusing to share information with journalists.
Journalists are denied information despite the enactment of law on access to information.
The 215th corps spokesman, Col. Mohammad Rassoul Zazi, told Pajhwok Afghan News he was unaware of the desertion in Sangin.
He said a gathering was planned to be held tomorrow regarding the operation in Sangin and all details of the offensive would be shared with participants.
When contacted, Deputy Governor Mohammad Jan Rassoulyar said he was on his way to meet the ANA officials and apprise himself of the latest situation in Sangin.
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