Taliban overrun Ghormach district, set alight police HQ
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): The Taliban militants have torched the police headquarters after capturing the Ghormach district of northwestern Faryab province, an official said on Sunday.
Maj. Reza Rezaee, 209th Shaheen Military Corps spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the rebels overran the district and police headquarter after capturing a number of security posts on Saturday night.
He said the security forces including the district police chief and financial director had fled to an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Dutapa area while the district chief was in Maimana.
At the ANA base, soldiers were still fighting against the militants, he said, adding the troops were putting up strong resistance against the insurgents.
A local security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the fighters attacked only three police posts and captured the district and police headquarters without any resistance.
He added the Taliban had set alight the police headquarter.
A local elder, meanwhile, said the militants had named him and some other elders to negotiate with the security forces under siege to surrender if they wanted to save their lives. He said they would convey the Taliban’s message to the security forces.
But the 209th Shaheen Military Corps spokesman said the security forces were fully equipped and a plan to recapture the district would be devised soon by the central government.
A statement on the Taliban’s website said the fighters had inflicted heavy casualties on the security forces during the attack, in which four pick-ups were destroyed. The militants also claimed seizing a pick-up and an oil tanker.
A day earlier, local officials said around 2,000 militants had sneaked into Ghormach from Badghis province and some districts of Faryab. Following an attack on Ghormach, 18 rebels were killed and 20 others injured.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.