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Qala-e-Zal district falls to Taliban

It was a tactical retreat to prevent civilian casualties: Police

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL:  Tens of the Taliban fighters attacked Qala-e-Zal district and took control of the district after hours of clashes with security forces, officials said on Saturday. However, police officials said that security force have retreated to prevent civilian casualties.

“Police forces tactically retreated from the district, in which police headquarter, chief district office and part of the district Bazzar is under control of the Taliban insurgents,” Spokesman for 808 Spinzar Police Zone, Mahfuzullah Akbari told Afghanistan Times.

He added that security forces are at the outskirt of the district, and currently clashis underway between police and the Taliban insurgents.

“In order to avoid civilian casualties, police forces have retreated from the district,” he added.

“Additional commando forces have been reached the area,” he said, adding that ground and air operation is in the full swing to recapture the district.

He added that the Afghan security forces have sustained heavy casualties to the Taliban insurgents, in which around 40 insurgents have been killed or wounded.

According to him, Afghan National Police have also sustained casualties, but at the moment there is no exact figure.

He furthered, the Taliban fighters by the use of darkness of the night, hided themselves around the district’s Bazar on Friday night, and today (Saturday) early morning started attack over the district and Bazar area.

Pointing toward ongoing battle in Kabul-Kunduz highway, he said that “due to clashes Kabul-Kunduz highway remained close as well.

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement said that their fighters attacked Qala-e-Zal district and succeeded to capture police headquarter, chief district office and the Bazar of the district.

Taliban claimed that they imposed heavy casualties over Afghan forces and seized enough weapons during clashes.




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