6 militiamen killed, 60 defect to Taliban in Faryab
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Six members of an uprising group were killed during clashes with Taliban and another 60 defected to the insurgents in Pashtonkot district of northern Faryab province, a public representative said on Sunday.
Faryab’s deputy provincial council chief Tahir Qadiri said the clashes in Qarq Eigat locality left another four militiamen, including their commander Amanullah, wounded.
Abdul Qadir Qadari, the town’s administrative chief, said the Taliban had overrun Gilam Baf locality and had captured three police check-posts in the area, adding that local security men suffered causalities during the firefight.
According to him, Taliban captured Gilam Baf locality and hoisted their flag there.
But Taliban claimed they had captured 21 check-posts in the area, adding at least 150 government security men had joined them and released their names as well.
But a reliable source told Pajhwok Afghan News after Taliban captured six villages, including Gilam Baf, 60 uprising members joined them through mediation of local religious scholars Maulvi Muhibullah, Hayatullah and Abdul Rahman.
He said the surrender resulted from differences between two commanders of the uprising groups.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Aslam Gadaz said local uprising groups did not operate under government framework and there was possibility some of them might swell Taliban ranks.
Earlier, local officials in Faryab had warned that Pashtonkot district, besieged by Taliban, would fall if reinforcements were not sent to the aid of security forces.
The town’s administrative chief said at least 10 members of an uprising group had joined the Taliban ranks after their check-post was overrun by militants in Qaraq Egit area.
He said they failed to equip the check-post through land routes and the checkpoint needing equipment could not be accessed by air.
The official added another three security check-posts manned by uprising groups had also been surrounded by insurgents. The posts would collapse if the government did not provide support, he said.
Sibghatullah Selab, a provincial council member, said the situation in Faryab was precarious. Qaraq Egit and Kilam Baf localities have been captured by Taliban, he acknowledged.
A security official, who wished to go unnamed, accused the government of negligence, saying the authorities were not interested in equipping security personnel in-time.
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