Sangin on the verge of falling to Taliban
LASHKARGAH: Officials and residents on Sunday confirmed Taliban militants had entered the main bazaar of the Sangin district in southern Helmand province after capturing security posts.
A resident of Sangin, Abdul Ahad, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that the insurgents had entered the district bazaar last night and had started launching attacks on the district headquarters.
Ahad said the heavily armed rebels made announcements on loudspeakers, asking the police to either surrender or leave; otherwise, they would be killed. The fighters, who entered the Mandai area from the north, were trying to capture the entire bazaar.
Another resident, Mohammad Wali, said police abandoned their posts late on Saturday night in the Toghi area, with the fighting subsequently reaching the district centre.
The governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak, confirmed residents’ accounts, but claimed the rebels would soon be pushed back. On the other hand, a police official warned the district would definitely fall into the insurgents’ hands if sufficient security personnel were not dispatched to it.
Clashes were ongoing in central parts of the town, and so far three policemen have been killed and four others wounded. Zwak did not mention if the insurgents had suffered any casualties in these clashes.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, said the fighters had captured many posts in Sangin, killing and wounding several security personnel. He claimed the rebels had seized a police vehicle and ammunition. (Pajhwok)