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Sar-i-Pul security situation alarming: Officials

Sar-i-Pul security situation alarming: Officials

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Dec 02, 2016 - 18:41

SAR-I-PUL CITY (Pajwhok): Some residents of northern Sar-i-Pul province have been concerned over the growing presence of Talibaninfo-icon and Daesh fighters on the outskirts of Sar-i-Pul City, the provincial capital and expected heavy fighting in days ahead, residents and local officials said on Friday.

Haji Mullahinfo-icon Ahmad, the resident and elder of Shahtot village in Sayyad district, told Pajhwok Afghan News, Daesh rebels have lunched their activities in the province one month earlier.

He said the resident of locality were concerned at the emergence of Daesh as the group was more extremist compared to the Taliban. According to Ahmad Daesh forced as many as 60 families to leave their homes because some of their members served in police.

Mohammad Ali Hakimi, the provincial council member, said Daesh fighters were active in Sayyad district’s Shahtot locality, adding that the group was strengthening their positions in Kohistanat district which shared boarder with Ghorinfo-icon province.

He said growing incidents of insecurity made the masses worried.

He said currently security forces were in defensive position and if clearing operation was kicked off there would the possibility of attacks on security forces installation in the city.

Habibullah, the resident of Charbagh locality in Sar-i-Pul City, while expressing his concern over growing incidents of violence said he believed that Afghan security forces were strong, but weak administration and lack of leadership was an issue with Afghan forces and he did not believe security forces would launch clearing offensive in areas where Daesh and other insurgent groups were getting strong.

Mohammad Noor Rahmani, head of the provincial council, said the Taliban may not be in a position to overrun the province but the group attacks were still effective and people were worried.

Governor Spokesman Zabihullah Amani acknowledged the presence of Daesh in some part of Sayyad district but said the existing number of forces in Sar-i-Pul were not sufficient to be pushed for offensive against these groups.

He said more troops were needed and the central government had been informed about the issues.

Earlier, governor Mohammad Zahir Wehdat said the rebels remained in control of Kohistanat district over the past 14 months. He asked the central government for urgent assistance to deal with the threat posed by Taliban and other insurgent groups.

The governor said Islamic State or Daesh group had been present in the province over the past six months and coordinated attacks with the Taliban.

However, Daesh and Taliban militants had clashed many times in eastern Nangarhar and other provinces.

About the number of militants operating in Sar-i-Pul, the governor said they numbered between 3000 and 4000.

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