MoD Denies Helmand Troops Surrendered To Taliban


The ¬Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Saturday rejected earlier reports that 65 security force members had surrendered to the Taliban in Sangin district in southern Helmand province, arguing that a number of army troops might have been captured by insurgents.

“Our troops will never surrender to the enemy,” Dawlat Waziri, MoD spokesman told TOLOnews.

“There might be some problems. This is war. Moving forward and backwards, defending and leaving strongholds [tactically] can happen in war and they [troops] are allowed to do this [when required],” the spokesman added.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) meanwhile said national police force members are not faced with any problems in embattled Sangin district in the southern province.

“We are in contact with our police force members – who number thousands – and we do not see any serious problems in their lines,” said Najib Danish, the MoI deputy spokesman.

But, a woman whose son is serving on the frontline with the Afghan National Army (ANA) claims her son and his colleagues have been surrounded by the Taliban for 15 days.

She said she has knocked on the doors of several government offices but no one has addressed her pleas. She said that now she wants to raise her voice through the media.

“The president [Ashraf Ghani], Dr. Abdullah [the CEO] and the army should wake up and stop victimizing our sons,” Bibi Hanifa told TOLOnews.

This comes after Helmand governor Mirza Rahimi told a press conference on Saturday morning that “65 Afghan security force members including three commanders surrendered [to the Taliban] in Sangin district [in Helmand],” and that “the situation is now under control in the district.”

Clashes have been ongoing in the province for a month and parts of the province including Babaji area, on the outskirts of Lashkargah city, have fallen to the Taliban, say sources.

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