Helmand police strength reduced by 800 personnel: Sarjang
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some 800 policemen have been deducted from the police force in southern Helmand province, leaving the force unable to capture areas lost to militants, the police chief complained on Saturday.
Brig. Gen. Abdul Rahman Sarjang told reporters here that the Ministry of Interior in the past two months had reduced by 800 personnel the police and had cut the number of police guarding different government entities in Nawmesh, Deshu and Baghran districts.
He said the police staff should not have been reduced because police were fighting against insurgents in the frontline. He said the reduction came in response to allegation that ‘ghost police’ exited in Helmand.
He said the available number of police force was enough to maintain security, but not enough to recapture areas lost to insurgents. He said they needed enough police and equipment to recapture the lost areas from militants.
Sarjang said security issues, poppy cultivation and drug trafficking and the presence of natural resources needed security in Helmand.
However, Ministry of Interior spokesman Sadeq Saddiqi said they had not reduced the number of police in Helmand, but 600 policemen had been shifted to the public order police force in the province.
Sarjang said the security forces had launched search operations in Khanshin and Sangin districts and were planning to conduct operations in Marja in near future.
There are currently 7,700 policemen in Helmand province maintaining security while Deshu, Baghran, Nawzad and Musa Kala district are with Taliban.
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