Scores of security personnel missing after Nad Ali clash
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Scores of security personnel have been missing in the wake of a fierce firefight in the Nad Ali district in southern Helmand, the local social council head said on Monday.
However, the Taliban insurgents claimed the security forces had joined their ranks after the fighters overran their checkpoints and several areas of the embattled district.
Social council head for the district, Mohammad Nabi Ulfat, told Pajhwok Afghan News a fierce clash erupted between the security forces and the militants late on Sunday night.
He said from 60 to 70 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and police personnel had been missing after the gunbattle. The clash is still ongoing in the district, where the Taliban have taken control of many areas.
At least 15 soldiers had been killed and another 20 injured so far, said Ulfat, who gave no information about the insurgent casualties.
Another member of the council said on condition of anonymity the security forces failed protect the district centre. Following the clash, rebels took control of Mirza Square, Khushal and Zarghoon villages, he added.
Brig. Gen. Aqa Noor Kintoz, the Helmand police chief, acknowledged a number of soldiers had been surrounded in Nad Ali.
“Police and ANA personnel remain besieged in the district, I don’t have any information about the situation and casualties, but an investigation has been launched,” he remarked.
Two policemen were killed and eight others wounded, Kintoz said, adding reinforcements had reached the district from Kandahar City, Greshk and Lashkargah. The air force conducted raids in the district, killing more than 60 Taliban.
But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed 46 security personnel having 33 rifles had joined their ranks in Wardag Square.He said the security officials included 20 policemen and the rest were ANA soldiers.
The clash erupted in Nad Ali district on Sunday after the fall of Khanshin district into the hand of Taliban. But after a 12-hour of clash the security forces were able to regain control of the district.
Meanwhile, doctors at the Emergency Hospital confirmed receiving 46 wounded people since Sunday. Three of the wounded, whose identities are yet to be disclosed, succumbed to their injuries.
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