Afghan forces reclaim a district, lose another

Afghan security forces have recaptured Yamgan district in northeastern Badakhshan province while Taliban take control of Char Dara in neighboring Kunduz

Afghan forces reclaim a district, lose another

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Afghan security forces have retaken control of Yamgan district in the northeastern Badakhshan province Sunday morning but abandoned another district in the neighboring Kunduz province, Afghan officials said.

According to the Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, Afghan security forces have recaptured Yamgan district Sunday morning after days of heavy fighting and bombing of Taliban insurgents' strongholds.

"Today at 8.30 a.m. [0400GMT] our security forces entered the district. Enemies of the country have been cleared from the district," Sediqqi said.

He said Taliban and foreign fighters suffered heavy losses during the fierce fighting in the district. "At least 120 Taliban insurgents were killed and wounded," he said.

"Six of the Taliban's prominent commanders, including the commander of Tajik fighters in the region [Mullah Hashim Kolabi], were killed during the operation," he added.

Meanwhile, Taliban gunmen captured Char Dara district of the northeastern Kunduz province on Saturday evening.

According to the chief of the provincial council, Mohammad Yosuf Ayobi, fighting reached the suburb of the provincial center, Kunduz city.

"Taliban occupied Char Dara at about 7.00 p.m. [1430GMT] on Saturday. At least 12 Afghan army soldiers were killed while 17 others were wounded during the fight which started at 6.00 a.m. [0130 GMT]," Ayobi told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

All Afghan police forces and army soldiers along with local militiamen have retreated from the district.

"We ran out all of our ammunitions and had to save our lives. Despite continuous calls for help, officials failed to send reinforcement forces," a militia fighter told Noorin, a local TV channel.

A local elder from the district, Haji Tordi Bai told Anadolu Agency that local Taliban, in collaboration with foreign gunmen, had captured the district and raised their white flag on top of the district administration building.

"We are experiencing hell-life here. Men along with women and children left the area," Bai said.

Photos of men and women with their children escaping the villages near the battlefield were circulating on social media networks. Thousands of displaced families had moved to temporary shelters and camps established by humanitarian organizations in the capital city of the province.

An Afghan police officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said that gunmen had used armored vehicles to attack Afghan security forces in the district.

He said Taliban had seized six to eight armored vehicles from Afghan security forces a few days before the attack.

"We can't destroy the vehicles with bullets or RPG-7 rocket launchers," .

The Taliban group self-proclaimed spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, in a message confirmed that gunmen had occupied the district.

"At least 24 policemen and soldiers were killed while 19 others wounded," Mujahid said.

He added that at least 25 soldiers and policemen were also apprehended while four armored vehicles and six police vans were seized.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Haziran 2015, 12:49