Jalrez provincial council painted a bleak picture on Friday on the Wardak province situation when they announced that the Jalrez district has virtually fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
Addressing a press conference Friday morning, provincial council members said that armed insurgents have taken control of almost the entire district, with the exception of the district governor’s building and some other government offices.
They said a number of police officers have been killed by the armed insurgents and heavy clashes are ongoing between security forces and the militants.
One council member blamed the central government for the situation, claiming that between 30 and 40 percent of security force members deployed to the area are not on duty.
The council members said however, that reinforcement troops have been sent in to push back the insurgents.
According to them at least 50 percent of check points in Chak district in Wardak province have also fallen into the Taliban’s hands.
But the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI) officials strongly rejected fall of the district into the Taliban hands.
“I can assure you that the Taliban do not have that much power to seize control of districts in Wardak,” deputy MoI spokesman Najibullah Danish told TOLOnews. “We have enough forces in Wardak to defend it.”
This latest development comes after Wardak’s deputy governor on Thursday said that insurgents had seized control of six police checkpoints in Jalrez district in Wardak province.
He said the armed confrontation between security forces and the insurgents started Wednesday night at around 11:00 pm and that by late Thursday afternoon fighting continued.
According to him, five Afghan Local Police (ALP) officers had been killed by Thursday night and a number of vehicles seized.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Jalrez.