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Resurgent Taliban seize Kohistan, Taywara districts

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Taliban insurgents have overrun the Lowlash area of the Kohistan district centre of northwestern Faryab province, officials acknowledged on Sunday.

Elsewhere in the north, the militants captured Taywara district after fierce clashes in Ghorprovince early Sunday morning. The town had only one check -post manned by the security forces.

Faryab police spokesman Abdul Karim Yourish said hundreds of militants attacked the area late on Saturday night. Security forces and public uprising group members retreated to Khairabad village.

He said the security personnel were trying to send reinforcements to Kohistan to reclaim the neighbourhood. Four security officials suffered causalities during the heavy clashes, he added.

A public uprising group commander, Mohammad Nasir, said all areas of the district barring Khairabad and Yak Qala villages had fallen into the hands of the militants.

He warned the lives of about 200 security personnel and uprising group members were under threat if the government did not take urgent measures for rescuing them.

Noor Ahmad, one security official, said there were many weapons, ammunition and other equipment in the security compound. If urgent action was not taken to remove them from the site, the weapons would be destroyed, he added.

The district has been under siege for about a year, and its links with the provincial capital have been cut off. The pressure from the Taliban has also risen over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban’s spokesman, said the district centre, police station and a number of security check-posts had fallen to the fighters.

He said dozens of security personnel had suffered casualties and a huge amount of weapons had been captured by their fighters. Only three Talban were injured in the clashes.

In Ghor, Public Order Police Commander Mahmood Andarabi said several security officials and residents supporting them had been surrounded by the Taliban.

Abdul Hai Khatibi, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed the commander of a local uprising and lawmaker Ibrahim Malikzada were among the people under siege.

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