85 Taliban dead as troops regain control of Chardara
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Afghan security forces regained control of Chardara district in northern Kunduz province on Tuesday morning, killing at least 85 insurgents after fierce clashes, spokesman of Afghan National Army (ANA) second corps in northeastern zone said.
However, Taliban denied losing control of the district. The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said it was the government propaganda and the district was still in control of militants.
He claimed 24 policemen had been killed and 19 others wounded in fighting with Afghan forces in Chardara.
Maj. Ghulam Hazrat Karimi told Pajhwok Afghan News that Maj. Gen. Murad Ali Murad along with joint Afghan security forces were leading the ground force in the area. The offensive was launched at around 3:00am.
Speaking to journalists, Murad said Taliban were purged of the entire district and majority of the slain rebels were dreaded commanders.
He said the fleeing Taliban were being chased and captured. Meanwhile, Governor Mohammad Umar Safi said six security personnel were also killed in the Chardara fighting.
Murad also said security forces who were captured by the Taliban during attack on the district headquarters were also released. The infantry commander said the freed troops joined other security forces in Chardara district.
Chardara district was fallen to insurgents following heavy attacks on Saturday night. The district is located 10 kilometres west of Kunduz city.
But Brig. Gen. Abdul Saboor Nasrati, provincial police chief, on Sunday said senior officials from the Ministries of Defence and Interior had arrived in the area to work out a strategy to dislodge militants and regain control of the district.
Afghan security forces and Taliban claimed inflicting heavy casualties on each other for fighting to capture the district.
Kunduz police chief had earlier said the clashes left 17 Taliban fighters dead and 21 others wounded. Three security personnel had also been killed and six wounded, he added.
He said Taliban had bombed a bridge and torched a military base being used by the security forces.
Based on reports, the residents of Chardara have been trapped between the warring parties. Nasratullah, a resident of the locality, said that the government should establish more security check post to strengthen security and keep insurgents at bay.
Taliban have not commented over control of Chardara district as of yet.
But earlier, Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesperson, in an email had earlier claimed killing 24 policemen and wounding 19 others. He said the group had detained 25 more policemen.
He added 12 security check points had been overrun, four tanks, six rangers and dozens of weapons had been seized.
Shafiqullah, a local police member, said they retreated from the district because no back up force could come to their help on time.
Meanwhile, the residents who were displaced due to the fighting have voiced deep concerns about their plight. Mohammadullah, resident of Nahr-e-Sufi, said: “majority of the residents including me escaped to Kunduz centre. Some other families have been trapped and cannot escape.”
He said he could only take his family members out of the district, while everything else was left behind.
Taliban denied losing control over Chardara district. Taliban spokesman in an email received by Pajhwok Afghan News rejected losing control of Chardara district as a propaganda campaign by the government.
He said security forces on Monday night wanted to march toward the district center but they retreated after Taliban offered stout resistance.
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