Taliban advancing in Baghlan, warns PC chief
KABUL (Pajhwok): A senior public representative on Monday warned that people would block the Kabul-Balkh highway if the government did not take steps to improve the security situation in northern Baghlan province.
Baghlan provincial council (PC) chief Safdar Muhseni issued the warning at a press conference in Kabul, saying the road would be blocked if the government did not strengthen security in Baghlan and failed to decide the fate of the provincial governor and the police chief.
Muhseni said Taliban insurgents had launched their operations in Baghlan-i-Markazi district and Dand Ghori area of the provincial capital, Pul-i-Khumri, over the past one year, overrunning 13 Afghan military bases.
He said the military bases had mysteriously fallen to the insurgents as there had been no casualties to either side. He said the Taliban had seized a number of weapons like Kalashnikovs, machineguns, police vehicles and ammunitions from the bases.
Currently, he said, the Taliban had established a check-post five kilometers away from Pul-i-Khumri in the Ghori Dand area, controlling people’s movement.
He said the lack of coordination among Afghan security forces had enabled the Taliban to threaten the people of Pul-i-Khumri and bring under their control many areas in Dand Ghori locality.
Despite these tough conditions, the provincial council chief said Baghlan police chief Aminullah Amarkhel had been called to Kabul, leaving his deputy to struggle with the situation.
Muhseni said despite the presence of Special Forces Unit commander Brig. Gen. Asadullah Sherzad and Public Order Police commander Daud Tarakhel in Baghlan, security forces had been unable to prevent Taliban’s advance.
He said the central government should send security forces who were in high spirit against insurgents to Baghlan and a delegation to investigate how easily some areas fell to the Taliban.
But Baghlan acting police chief Col. Abdul Bashir Rashid told Pajhwok Afghan News security forces were currently locked in clashes with insurgents and security lines had been established in Baghlan-i-Markazi district and Dand Ghori area to prevent the insurgents from advancing.
He said security forces, including personnel from the Special Forces Unit, were trying to purge the two areas from the presence of militants.
He acknowledged Taliban militants had seized control of four military bases, but said security forces had carried out “a tactical retreat” from nine bases.
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