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Insurgents capture key military base in Faryab

Insurgents loyal to Taliban extremist group have captured a key police base in northern Faryab province after staging a dramatic assault and engaging in ferocious combat with armed forces, killing three security personnel and taking seventeen hostages, authorities said Friday.

The rebels waged the coordinated attack on the public order police base situated between Sherin Tagab and Dawlatabad districts at 8am last night and the ensuing clash lasted until 12am when the Taliban captured the base, said Dawlatabad district chief Abdul Raziq Kakar.

The insurgents seized 17 personnel, four tanks, two rocket launchers, other weapons and thousands of bullets at the Pul-i-Acha base. He said the base fell to the Taliban after reinforcement did not reach to assist the besieged forces on the base. The official also said more than 10 attackers also suffered casualties in the attack and calls for sending air support by foreign troops fell on deaf ears.

Kakar said there was no security post on the highway between Maimana, the provincial capital, Khwaja Sabzposh, Sherin Tagab, Dawlatabad and until Qaramqul district as all posts had been captured by the Taliban.

He said it was the last base on the Dawlatabad road that also fell into the hands of insurgents. “The contact between Dawlatabad and Sherin Tagab districts is broken, no village or area is under the government control. The fall of the last base means the two districts are besieged.”

A member of the Faryab provincial council, Abdul Ahad Alibek, who is resident of Dawlatabad district, confirmed the fall of the major public order police base to the insurgents.

He accused the provincial security officials of incompetency and warned if the central government did not take prompt measures regarding Faryab, then Dawlatabad, Sherin Tagab and Khwaja Sabzposh districts would collapse and there was also possibility of the fall of Maimana.

A Taliban member in Dawlatabad district confirmed the capture of the base and said three police were killed and 15 others held hostage. He rejected Taliban casualties and said the rebels seized huge quantity of ammunition.

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