The Taliban took control of a large police base in a remote part of northeastern Afghanistan after some 100 police and border guards surrendered and joined the insurgents following three days of fighting, media reports said on Sunday
The Tirgaran police base in Badakhshan province’s Wardoj district had been cut off as heavy rains swamped roads into the area, the Associated Press quoted General Baba Jan, the province’s police chief, as saying. It said it was unclear why reinforcements hadn’t been flown into the area.
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“No reinforcements were sent to help the police at the base for the past three days when they were under the attack and finally they had no option: They had to join the Taliban,” the report quoted Abdullah Naji Nazari, the head of Badakhshan’s provincial council, as saying.
According to Gen Jan, the local police commander also joined the Taliban and handed over the base’s weapons and ammunition.
The Taliban issued a statement saying they captured the base along with 110 police officers, their local commander and the head of the local border police. It did not say whether the captives joined their ranks.
Gen Jan later said the Taliban had released all the policemen and allowed them to return to their homes. He said it was unclear why the forces surrendered, insisting they has enough ammunition and supplies to hold out for weeks.
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Last month hundreds of insurgents attacked security checkpoints in the province’s Yamgan district, forcing police to abandon them.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2015.