Families Of Surrounded Soldiers Want Siege To End

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Families of soldiers, who are allegedly surrounded by the Taliban in Baghlan, have called on government to do something to help the troops.

The families converged on Pul-e-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan on Saturday, to seek help.

They claim their sons have been under siege by the Taliban in Sorkh Kotal area of Pul-e-Khumri since Tuesday.

“This issue should be solved by12 noon today. We want our sons to be taken out of the siege,” said the mother of a local policeman.

“The government doesn’t listen to us….forces can go there, but they don’t go. The government has aircraft, but don’t use them,” said a relative of one of the soldiers.

Families of the soldiers warned that a human disaster will take place, if government fails to take action to break the siege.

The collapse of several check posts to the Taliban in less than a week has also raised concerns of Baghlan provincial council members.

“They are close to the highway. The Sorkh Kotal base was located in an area to not let the Taliban come close to the highway,” said Bismillah Atash, another member of the council.

“If they don’t launch operations in Baghlan, like the ones that they have carried out in Knnduz and Helmand province, then we, the members of provincial council, along with people will launch a widespread protest and will block the highway,” said Mohammad Zarif Zarif, a member of Baghlan provincial council.

Police in Baghlan admitted that fighting is underway between Afghan forces and the Taliban, but rejected that soldiers are under siege.

Awaz Mohammad Naziri, Baghlan Police Chief, also rejected claims of the fall of check posts to the Taliban.

Fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban is underway in Baghlan-e-Markazi districts and outskirts of Pul-e-Khurmi over the past week.

Naziri said that in recent fighting nine Taliban militants have been killed and several others wounded.

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