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Kohistanat district falls as ALP commander defects

KABUL: The embattled Kohistanat district of northern Sar-i-Pul province has fallen to the Taliban, an official acknowledged on Tuesday.

Mohammad Asif Jabbarkhail, police chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News the district was captured by the Taliban after a commander of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) joined them.

At least 17 Afghan National Policemen (ANP) personnel and the district police chief had been missing since the militants overran the district, he added.

ALP commander Farooq surrendered on his way to the district centre along with his companions through Sayad district. Jabbarkhail, however, did not comment on evacuation of the ALP personnel from the area.

Mohammad Noor Rahmani, head of the provincial council, said the insurgents had stormed the district center at around at 9:00 pm and they got control of the town early Tuesday morning.

Locals looted weapons, ammunition and other equipment before the Taliban got complete hold of the district, a setback for the security forces, he informed.

Asadullah Khurram, provincial council member, said pro-government families had left for secure areas but he did not have information about number of the households. At least 200 ALP personnel had joined Taliban militants, he claimed.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, the Taliban spokesman, confirmed taking control over the Kositanat district, which changed hands a day after a key police base fell in northeastern Badakhshan province. (PAN)

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