AT-KABUL: After five days of continued fighting, Omna district of southeastern Paktika province has fallen to the Taliban, local officials said on Sunday.
A security officials who wish to remain anonymous said that the district had been under siege for the past five days, and were collapsed on Saturday night.
“The security forces “tactically” retreated from the district, but now we are preparing to recapture the district from Taliban insurgents,” he said.
Former provincial council candidate and resident of the district, Bawar Khan, confirmed that the entire district was collapsed to the Taliban. “Taliban had influence in entire areas of the district for few days, but now they (Taliban) captured the district completely.
“Over the past few days, there has been fierce fighting between security forces and the Taliban insurgents, which subsided on Saturday night with the collapse of the district,” he added
Niamatullah Babari, a provincial council member, said that any contacts with the center of the district had been cut as a result of heavy fighting.
Meanwhile, the provincial governor’s spokesman denied the town’s fall to Taliban and said only a check post had been seized by the insurgents. Moreover, he assured that checkpoint would be retaken soon. “Reinforcement forces already dispatched in the area.”
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in his twitter account wrote that his fighters had taken complete control of the town, and seven Afghan soldiers were also killed and five others injured.
He also confirmed that four Taliban fighters were killed and five others injured during the five-day fighting.
He also said that six ranger pick-ups and other weapons and ammunition were also seized.
The fall of the district is not a new thing in these days. Security forces should make every efforts to push back Taliban insurgents. Khanabad district of the Kunduz province was fall to the Taliban recently. However, security forces recaptured the district, but it left huge problems to the residents.
District residents said that after Taliban insurgents took control of the district, they (militants) turned their houses into strongholds and starting firing toward security forces from there.