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Taliban capture lapis mine, 30 guards in Badakhshan

Taliban capture lapis mine, 30 guards in Badakhshan

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Jul 16, 2019 - 16:06

KABULinfo-icon-FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Talibaninfo-icon militants have taken control of a lapis lazuli mine and captured 30 security forces in northeastern Badakhshan province, an official said on Tuesday.

Abdul Rahim Farhat, the Keran wa Minjan district administrative chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban militants took control of the mine after a brief clash with security forces late Monday.

He said: “The Taliban took control of the lapis lazuli mine after a secret deal with Qari Abdul Qadir, a security official of the mine.”

He said Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander for the Keran wa Minjan district was also wounded in the nighttime firefight.

Farhat without going into details said Taliban militants also seized 30 security forces, workers, weapons, vehicles and ammunition of the mine and took them with themselves.

The Taliban have taken control of several parts of the district but efforts were under way to drive them away, the district chief concluded.

Gulalai Akbari, a Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon member from Badakhshan, told today’s session that the Keran wa Minjan district fell to militants after security forces did not receive reinforcement late Monday.

Kamil Bek  Hussaini, another senator, also confirmed the Taliban had overrun the district. He urged security forces to recapture the district as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Nek Mohammad Nazari, the spokesman for the Badakhshan governor, told Pajhwok that he could not confirm whether the district and security forces guarding the lapis lazuli mine had been captured by militants or not.

The Taliban also confirmed taking control of two security check-posts in Khash district of the province.

The group spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the fighters confiscated weapons and ammunition from the captured check-points in Khash district.

Mujahid also confirmed the lapis lazuli mine had been captured along with 37 security forces guarding the deposit.

pk/ma

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