Shadow governor, district chief killed in Faryab clashes, Taliban refute
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Taliban’s shadow governor for northern Faryab province and a district chief were among 50 militants killed during clashes with security forces led by Vice-President General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a claim rejected by the insurgents.
Faryab’s Governor Syed Anwar Sadat had yesterday said 50 Taliban militants were killed in the Pashtunkot district during security forces’ operations spearheaded by Dostum.
Sadat provided no further details, but the deputy head of Junbishi-i-Islami party, Massoud Ahmad Massoud, who is assisting the VP in the operations, on Tuesday claimed the dead included Taliban’s shadow governor for Faryab, Maulvi Zabihullah aka Ghazi Qomandan, and shadow district chief for the Almar district, Mullah Sarwar.
He said members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) had also been killed and a dozen more government forces wounded during the week-old offensive.
But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi rejected the claim in a message to Pajhwok Afghan News and said dozens of security forces were killed and wounded in Khwaja Musa area of Pashtunkot district and the area captured by the fighters.
However, the governor claimed the bazaar of Khwaja Musa and nearby villages had been completely cleared of insurgents and combed.
The Taliban captured Khwaja Musa area of Pashtunkot district three months ago and declared a district. The Taliban spokesman also said the 120 individuals who surrendered to government forces and turned in their weapons were local policemen.
The 120 Taliban fighters two days ago handed over their weapons to the government and General Dostum said they included Taliban commanders Hamidullah Akhund, Abdul Malik and Amanullah.
The Pashtunkot district chief, Abdul Qadir Qaderi, said the Taliban attacked government-backed militia forces in Chaqmaq area of the district and the ensuing clash left two Taliban fighters dead. Two uprising members were also wounded in the clash, he said.
But another source said one militiaman was killed and two others wounded during the clash with Taliban militants.
The Taliban in their website claimed the rebels captured three security posts in Chaqmaq area, killed a militia commander along with his three bodyguards and injured four others and also seized four horses.
The clashes in Pashtunkot have displaced hundreds of families to Maimana, the provincial capital. Two noncombatants have been killed and four injured during the clashes in which a number of homes have been destroyed.
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