Scores of ANA troops ‘defect’ to Taliban in Uruzgan
TARINKOT (Pajhwok): Dozens Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers including their commanders in central Uruzgan province have ‘defected’ to the Taliban after months of siege, security official said on Sunday.
The soldiers were stationed in ANA Mashal unit in Sajawal Kala area in Chori district.
District Police Chief Aka told Pajhwok Afghan News the military unit was under the Taliban siege from the past two months but was never attacked.
He said the Taliban send delegation of local tribal elders to the military unit for surrender and the soldiers finally decided Saturday evening to put their weapons down, surrender and join the Taliban.
The district chief said he informed authorities about the developing situations early on Saturday who promised to hold meeting and discuss the situation.
Another reliable source in Uruzgan said as many as 41 soldiers, including commanders, had defected to the Taliban ranks after surrender to the group.
According to the source ANA soldiers surrendered three armored tanks, military vehicles and huge quantity of light and heavy weapons to the Taliban.
Meanwhile Taliban Spokesman Qari Yosuf Ahmadi claimed No. 7 military unity and a base in Uruzgan’s Duroshan Saine locality was surrendered to the group through negotiation.
He said Taliban and the military unit commander talks were underway from the past few week and finally reached to a conclusion.
He said the military base Commander Col. Mohammad Ismael and Maj. Rafiqullah with 42 troops defected to the Taliban they surrendered 58 light and heavy weapons, three tanks, two pick up and other military gears to the Taliban.
A couple of days back police commander ‘defected’ to Taliban militants along with his 13 subordinates in Chori district. Police chief Aka said the 3rd police battalion commander based in the district had surrendered to Taliban along with his 13 men.
He identified the commander as Qahir Khan who had been serving as the commander for 3rd police battalion over the past two months.
Addressing a press conference after NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday, he said NATO considered Afghan security forces fully capable to take charge of security situation in Afghanistan, adding the Afghan forces were capable to counter different Taliban attacks.
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