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25 district personnel dead as rebels control parts of Musa Kala

At least 25 security forces personnel were killed and 40 others wounded in a bloody showdown, which led Taliban to capture parts of the strategically important Musa Kala district in southern Helmand province, an official said.

Haji Karim Atal, Helmand Provincial Council head, expressed concern over the fall of the district and told Pajhwok Afghan News that security forces had left the district center while civil service personnel and wounded officers were sheltered in dangerous area.

He said the district center was surrounded by militants for the last five days while provincial security officials did not bother to dispatch reinforcement to thwart the militants’ attack.

Atal added 25 security personnel were killed and 40 others wounded during the clash for control of the district last night.

Losing control of Musa Kala could create serious security threats for Greshk district and Lashkargah, the provincial capital, he said.

Abdul Majeed Akhunzada member of provincial council and resident of Musa Kala said security and civil officers who left the district center must be survived.

He said the district personnel and a large number f wounded officers were staying in a desert and there were no means for transportation to shift them to the provincial capital.

Akhunzada blamed security officials for negligence who failed to protect the district against rebels for the last five days.

Another provincial council member Bashir Ahmad also said that around 100 security personnel wounded or killed and the bodies of some soldiers were still lying on the fighting scene.

He said it was a secret project to hand over the district center to the Taliban without reinforcement support from the governor’s house. “I fear all northern districts would fall to Taliban.”

If the government wants to leave the districts then security forces should not be lost in a meaningless fighting, he said.

“Taliban militants have inflicted casualties on hundreds of security forces and seized a large amount of ammunition and weapons during the past two months and they are using Afghan forces weapons against the government,” Shakir said.

The district chief Mohammad Sharif earlier today said they were besieged by militants from the last five days but the government did not bother to dispatch reinforcements.

He acknowledged of losing control of the district center after receiving no support from the central government despite repeated requests.

The district center was attacked by militants on Tuesday night and Afghan forces exchanged heavy fire with rebels, he said, adding the district headquarter’s building, police headquarters and the district health center were in rebels control.

The district chief said for the last few days “we have been under Taliban’s control and no one helped us, which led the district fall last night.

Mohammad Sharif told Pajhwok Afghan News the entire staff of the district had shifted to the old district’s building and their own homes and they were fighting a pitched battle with Taliban.

At least 15 policemen have been suffered wounds and some of them were killed, but they don’t know about causalities suffered by Taliban and Army personnel.

He said they were trapped in the district and running out of food stuff and other commodities.

He recalled all senior provincial officials were informed in advance that the district was surrounded by hundreds of Taliban.

Nabi Jan Malakhel, provincial police chief, said: “We will soon launch big operation in Musa Kala district to retake it.”

Haji Malim a tribal elder of the locality, said that district’s police force could fight for one hour because they have finished their ammunitions.

Taliban in the past also took control of the district but was recaptured by Afghan forces. (PAN)

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