The Taliban on Sunday freed 142 Afghan Local Police and border police, captured in Badakhshan over the past few days, following efforts on the part of tribal elders, said Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials.
However so-called spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, confirmed in a statement to the media that the group had released only 120 Afghan soldiers on condition that they would not return to police ranks.
The release was mediated by the elders of Badakhshan, the statement explained.
But MoD spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said a fact-finding team was assigned to investigate the collapse of the joint military base in Teergaran village in Warduj district which resulted in over a hundred police force members being captured by Taliban after a four-day siege.
“We have assigned a commission with the help of the Interior Ministry to find the facts, and after we get the complete report, we will share it with media,” Waziri told TOLOnews.
Those kidnapped include 107 Afghan Border Police (ABP) and 35 Afghan Local Police (ALP) force members, MoD officials explained.
“The latest information that we have shows these forces are released and have now returned to their ranks. But these forces are from the same area and they had made a deal,” said General Baba Jan, Badakhshan Police Chief.
These statements came after the Taliban seized control of a joint military base in Teergaran village late Saturday after scores of insurgents attacked the base on Friday night and started clashing with security forces.
But the Badakhshan Police Chief Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai asserted Sunday that the base fell into the hands of the insurgents after border police and local forces made a deal with the Taliban insurgents and “let them seize the base.”
Reports suggest the Taliban had also seized a large amount of arms and equipment, which many fear, could be used by insurgents for attacking other areas.
Meanwhile, military analysts blamed the fall of the military base on what they said was negligence of security officials in sending reinforcement troops to the area.
“This shows a weak management by the security institutions,” military analyst Javed Kohistani said.
The security forces in Teergaran village were said to have been surrounded by the Taliban for four days, during which they received no assistance from either of security institutions.
In addition, several other districts including Yamgan, Shuhada and Baharak are facing serious threats. The local officials warn if government does not take preventative steps, these districts would likely fall into Taliban hands.