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Government rejects report over soldiers’ captivity

AT News Report

KABUL: Government officials rejected a report that dozens of soldiers were taken hostage by Taliban fighters in the northwestern province of Badghis.

The New York Times wrote that at least 150 soldiers were captured by Taliban militants in the BalaMorghab district after they were deported from Turkmenistan where they had fled when militants intensified attack on their outposts.

JamshidShahabi, provincial spokesman confirmed on Monday that 100 soldiers crossed the border, entering Turkmenistan soil. “These 100 soldiers arrived at the Turkmenistan border, but fought with the armed opposition and entered Turkmenistan soil. The ministry of foreign affairs made contacts with Turkmen government and these soldiers are to be sent to Afghanistan via Torghondi port,” Shahabi said.

He added that another 30 soldiers who had deserted, returned to their outposts.

But Abdul Aziz Baig, head of provincial council said that Turkmen border forces prevented Afghan soldiers from entering their soil, while Taliban militants were waiting for them with fingers on the triggers of guns pointing at them.

Shahabi said that some 2,000 armed people are active in the BalaMorghab district and foreign national are also seen among them.

“The situation is crucial, Taliban or any other armed opposition groups are seeking government’s weak points,” said Abdul Karim Nosrat, a residence of Badghis.

Intensive clashesare going on in the BalaMorghab district for 12 days in which around 100 soldiers have been so far killed, according to reports. But Shahabisaid that casualties inflicted on the insurgents are more than government forces.

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