Taliban torch dozens of homes in Faryab

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Provincial council head in northwestern Faryab province on Tuesday claimed Talibaninfo-icon fighters led by Pakistani and Uzbek commanders have torched more than 40 houses in Almar district.

Qaraee locality of Almar district fell to Taliban on Monday and it has over 30 villages.

Syed Abdul Baqi Hashemi, provincial council head, told Pajhwok Afghan News around 15,000 families lived in Qaraee surrounded by Taliban for two weeks.

He claimed Taliban shadow governors for Faryab, Ghorinfo-icon and Sar-i-Pul provinces were leading the fight under the command of Pakistani and Uzbek commanders who had millions of dollars on their disposal.

“We screamed for help but nobody heard us. The community forces had no choice but to retreat from Qaraee to Qaisar district.” he continued.

According to Hashmi, nine of pro government forces have been killed, 11 wounded, 11 were unaccounted for and six more were detained by insurgents.

Taliban, he added, had torched more than 40 residential houses and has beheaded an elder because his nephew was fighting against Taliban.

Fawzia Raufi, a lawmaker from Faryab, on Monday said that fighting was ongoing in six districts of Faryab and four posts had fallen to Taliban due to lack of weapons and ammunitions. She claimed more than 60 security personnel had been beheaded by Taliban--- a claim rejected by Abdul Satar Barez, the deputy governor.

A Qaraee resident wishing not to be named said Taliban first torched house of Khairullah Qaraee and then started setting other houses on fire whose owners had taken part in fighting against them.

“Taliban move around on their motorcycles. People are scared and don’t come out of their homes,” he added.

The resident said without army helicopters and help by MP Fathullah Qaisari, Taliban would have killed all 400 community forces. “All the promises by government were lies. Thousands of families suffer due to inappropriate policies of these politicians.”

Brig. Gen. Asadullah Sherzad, interior ministry special unit commander, said in Almar fighting Tajik, Uzbek, Pakistani and Chechen nationals had taken part in the fight.

The community forces, he added, had fought until end in Qaraee but due to lack of reinforcement they had to retreat.

“Last night army commandos arrived in Faryab and are coordinating with police to regain the lost areas,” he continued.