Taliban seize many in Sar-i-Pul villages abandoned by police
SAR-I-PUL (Pajhwok): Taliban have captured several villages abandoned by local police in the Sayad district of northern Sar-i-Pul province, well-placed sources said on Wednesday.
The governor, provincial police chief and intelligence head rushed to Sayad after western areas of the district were overrun by the insurgents.
Mohammad Pahlawan, a police commander, said the fighters killed Raees Momin, the Afghan Local Police (ALP) head for the district. The security personnel have vacated 80 villages, he added.
The areas were later seized by the Taliban. Raees Momin, who died in a roadside bombing in Mirza-o-Lang locality, had 300 policemen under his command.
But another security official, who wanted to go unnamed, rejected Pahlawan’s view, saying police had retreated from 24 villages without any resistance.
Governor Mohammad Zahir Wahdat, meanwhile, hit out at the police for leaving the villages. He directed police officials: “You receive cash, vehicles, weapons and other facilities but still leave villages without resistance; it is a shame.”
He added, air and ground operations would be launched soon to retake the fallen villages. The governor urged citizens to support security forces in their operations.
Mohammad Azim Qoyash, a representative of Sar-i-Pul in Meshrano Jirga, also expressed his concern at the police action. He asked people to help security forces and to stand firm against the insurgents.
The Taliban also claimed capturing “many villages” in Sayad district.
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