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Official rebuffs Taliban claim seizing Kandahar’s Maroof district

AT News Report

KABUL: The Afghan provincial security officials on Saturday rebuffed Taliban insurgents claim of capturing Maroof district of southern Kandahar province, terming it as baseless. 

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahamdi claimed their fighters brought district centre and police headquarters under their control on Friday late night.

He also claimed that security forces left their weapons and ammunition behind after Taliban insurgent attacked them. Taliban spokesman said they captured the district after two years of siege.

But provincial Police Chief Brig Gen. Rahmatullah Atrafi denied Taliban’s claim, and told Pajhwok Afghan News they had shifted the district centre from a mountainous location to another area.

He said the district office complex had been relocated in line with a decision approved by the Ministry of Interior.

Atrafi said a security operation had been underway in the district for the past two weeks.

A tribal elder also confirmed the police official’s view and rejected the Taliban claim. But he acknowledged the district centre had been besieged for a long time.

He added the people of several tribes such as Ishaqzai, Alizai, Barakzai, Alokozai and Khogyani were living in the district. They are under Taliban control and the government decided to shift the district centre.

He said the previous district administration and police station were housed in a tottering building. The militants attacked the district center with an explosives-packed Humvee.

Several security personnel, including the district police chief, suffered casualties in the bombing, he told Pajhowk. The district centre has been shifted to Abto area, which is under government control.

Maroof district is located in 190 kilometers from Kandahar City, near Durand Line and shares 155 kilometres border with Balochistan and the Quetta city of Pakistan.

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