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25 security officials killed as Musa Qala falls

25 security officials killed as Musa Qala falls

Aug 26, 2015 - 09:25

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): At least 25 security forces personnel were killed and another 40 wounded in a bloody showdown with hundreds of Talibaninfo-icon militants who captured parts of the strategically important Musa Qala district in southern Helmand province, public representatives and officials said.

Haji Karim Atal, the Provincial Council head, expressed concern over the fall of the district. He told Pajhwok Afghan News security forces retreated from the district center leaving civil officials and wounded officers in danger.

He said the district center had been surrounded by militants for five days while provincial security officials did not send reinforcements to repulse the attack.

Atal added 25 security personnel were killed and 40 others wounded during the clash over control of the district last night.

Losing Musa Qala to Taliban could create serious security threats for nearby Greshk district and Lashkargah, the provincial capital, he said.

Abdul Majeed Akhunzada, a member of the provincial council and resident of Musa Qala said security and civil officers who left the district center must be survived.

He said the district personnel and a large number of wounded officers struck in a desert could not be evacuated to the provincial capital. Akhunzada blamed security officials for negligence in protecting the district from rebels for five days.

Another provincial council member Bashir Ahmad also said around 100 security personnel were wounded or killed and the bodies of some soldiers were still lying on the fighting scene.

He said it was a secret project to hand over the district center to the Taliban without reinforcement support from the governor’s house. “I fear all northern districts would fall to Taliban.”

"If the government wants to abandon districts then security forces should not be lost in a meaningless fighting," he said.

“Taliban militants have inflicted casualties on hundreds of security forces and seized a large amount of ammunition and weapons during the past two months and they are using Afghan forces weapons against the government,” Shakir said.

The district chief, Mohammad Sharif, earlier today said they remained besieged by militants for five days but the government did not send reinforcements. He acknowledged losing control of the district center after failing to receive support from the central government despite repeated requests.

The district center was attacked by militants on Tuesday night and Afghan forces exchanged heavy fire with them, he said, adding the district headquarters, police headquarters and the district healthinfo-icon center were in rebels' control.

The district chief said they had been under Taliban’s seige for the last few days, but no one helped them and the district fell last night.

Mohammad Sharif told Pajhwok Afghan News the entire staff of the district had been shifted to the old district’s building and their own homes and they were fighting a pitched battle with Taliban.

At least 15 policemen suffered wounds and some were killed, but information about causalities among Taliban and Army personnel could not be ascertained.

Sharif said they were trapped in the district and running out of food stuff and other commodities. He said he had informed all senior provincial officials in advance that hundreds of Taliban had surrounded the district centre .

Nabi Jan Malakhel, provincial police chief, said: “We will soon launch a major operation in Musa Qala district to retake it.”  

Haji Malim, a tribal elder, said the district’s police could fight for only one hour because they had their ammunitions finished.

The Taliban in the past had also overrun the district before being driven by Afghan forces.



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