Dostum in Ghormach to mobilise security forces: MoI
KABUL (Pajhwok): First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum on Tuesday travelled to Ghormach district of northern Faryab province to coordinate with security forces and mobilise them against insurgents, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.
The Taliban insurgents overrun Ghormach district three days back, with armed forces retreating to hills surrounding the district centre.
Sediq Seddiqi, MoI spokesman, told journalists in Kabul that Gen. Dostum travelled to the district on Tuesday morning and reinforcements had also been sent to the town to clear it from insurgents.
Seddiqi said the first vice president’s visit to Ghormach would have a positive impact on mobilization of security forces and giving them a psychological boost.
He said joint operations by police, army and intelligence personnel started in the district on Monday and more reinforcements reached there on Tuesday.
“As we have promised the enemy would be defeated today in Faryab and the district (Ghormach) would be cleared of enemies.”
The MoI spokesman said casualties among government forces and insurgents were not yet clear in Ghormach and urged avoidance of unverified statements regarding the casualties.
Based on reports, the Taliban on Monday captured three police check-posts in Ghormach, holding the district’s police chief and 17 of his men captive.
But Seddiqi did not confirm Taliban had captured 18 policemen, but said they had lost contact with them.
He said seven policemen whose contact with the police headquarters was lost had returned to their posts.
“We’re trying to establish contacts with our forces. They are around 18 in number. We ask the people in Faryab to avoid making statements about their fate because if we don’t know then how can others know,” he added.
Seddiqi said insurgents were currently in control of around nine districts in Helmand, Faryab and Ghazni provinces and efforts were ongoing to regain their control.
Insurgents, he added, had movements in Nad Ali, Musa Qala and Nawzad districts of Helmand and security forces had launched clearing operations against them.
He said 27 insurgents had been killed in these operations, but did not give details about casualties suffered by government forces.
Seddiqi said clearing operations were also ongoing in some districts of northern Kunduz province, and since the calm had returned to the provincial capital, and some districts, the displaced families were returning to their homes.
He said the security situation in Ghazni was improving and clearing operations were underway in Gulran and Shindand districts of Herat province.
“The security forces have not become weak, but there are challenges in the war. We are not weak in any situation and if we were weak, we’d not have continuously fought the war over the past 14 years,” he said in response to a question.
The MoI spokesman said the insurgents wanted to mount pressure on the Afghan people and the government through their propaganda. “Let them continue for another 14 and 20 years. But the people of Afghanistan would never surrender to the terrorist groups.”
According to Seddiqi, the insurgents have started recruiting children in their ranks from Nangarhar, Kunduz and Kunar provinces. He said they snatched these children from their families under the pretext of sending them to seminaries in Pakistan for religious studies.
He said the police had recently freed 41 children from insurgents who were taking them to Pakistan.
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