Taliban militants overrun 30 villages in western Afghan province

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-09 16:34:01|Editor: WX
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QALA-E-NAW, Afghanistan, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Militants loyal to the Taliban group have driven more than 30 villages and strategic areas out of the government control, following a massive attack in Afghanistan's western province of Badghis, local officials said on Wednesday.

Both Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel and allied pro-government tribal militias, known as local uprising groups have left security checkpoints, abandoning more than 30 villages to the Taliban fighters in Ab Kamari district of Badghis province, Abdul Aziz Baik, a provincial council official, told Xinhua.

"Over 300 armed men including local police and the people uprising who were fighting militants since the last several years, withdrew from most parts of the district on Tuesday, after long waiting failure to receive reinforcement in the troubled district, where the Taliban fighters could easily took control of up to 30 villages and strategic sites," the official said, adding that only the district building is under security forces' control.

The government established the ALP or community police in 2010 to protect villages and districts around the country where army and police have limited presence.

As a fresh incident, an ALP commander Khudadad, leading up to 25 local policemen fled to the neighboring Herat province, after losing resistance to the intense insurgents' offensives in the district, according to the official.

The official said that currently, up to 70 percent of areas in Jawand and Qadis districts of the province, 555 km northwest of Kabul, was controlled by the Taliban militants who have blocked the security forces supplies from Herat province, through the key Laman road.

Baik also noted that Taliban fighters have now reached to the gates of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital city and would threat the city, if not fought.

He called on the government to take measures as militants' advancement caused threats to the security of Qala-e-Naw and areas on its outskirts.

On Monday, more than 20 Afghan soldiers and police personnel and 15 Taliban militants have been killed following a series of fierce counter-insurgents battles in Badghis.