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Taliban claim capturing Maroof district of Kandahar

Taliban claim capturing Maroof district of Kandahar

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Feb 23, 2019 - 09:37

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Talibaninfo-icon have claimed capturing the Maroof district of southern Kandahar province, but security officials reject the assertion as baseless.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahamdi said the fighters took control of the district centre and police headquarters late on Friday.

He added they captured both facilities after two years of siege and the security forces had left behind weapons and ammunition.

But deputy police chief Brig. Gen. Rahmatullah Atrafi, denying the Taliban claim, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had shifted the district centre from a mountainous location to another area.

He said the district office complex had been relocated in line with a decision approved by the Ministry of Interior.

Atrafi said a security operation had been underway in the district for the past two weeks.

A tribal elder also confirmed the police official’s view and rejected the Taliban claim. But he acknowledged the district centre had been besieged for a long time.

He added the people of several tribes such as Ishaqzai, Alizai, Barakzai, Alokozai and Khogyani were living in the district. They are under Taliban control and the government decided to shift the district centre.

He said the previous district administration and police station were housed in a tottering building. The militants attacked the district center with an explosives-packed Humvee.

Several security personnel, including the district police chief, suffered casualties in the bombing, he continued.

The district centre has been shifted to Abto area, which is under government control.

Maroof district is located in 190 kilometers from Kandahar City, near Durand Lineinfo-icon and shares 155 kilometres border with Balochistan and the Quetta city of Pakistaninfo-icon.

sa/mud

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