Balkh police have rejected claims that security outposts have fallen to the Taliban in Chamtal district in the province.
Sources Claim Balkh Outposts Fallen To Taliban
A reliable security source told TOLOnews on Tuesday that at least four security outposts fell to the Taliban in Chamtal district in Balkh province following an attack by the group on Monday.
The source said the Public Order Police outposts collapsed after troops from an army base were moved from Bargah Turkmina village to Bazarchahi village in Chamtal district.
The decision to move the troops was made by 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters and Balkh elders, the source said.
According to the source, the four outposts - 8, 9, 10 and 11 – fell to militants after being left in a vulnerable position following the withdrawal of the troops.
The source said army forces evacuated the base on Monday and set fire to the facilities.
According to sources, army bases are in place to support police bases and outposts and maintain security in an area after it is cleared of militants.
However, Sherkhan Durani, Balkh police spokesman, rejected the allegations and said no outpost had fallen to militants in Chamtal district.
This comes after Afghan National Army forces deserted bases in parts of Faryab last month without defending themselves against insurgents, sources said at the time.
In response to the news of the troops withdrawal from some bases in Faryab, the Ministry of Defense said in August that soldiers in Faryab and other parts of the country had been pulled out of some camps - in accordance with the MoD's four-year security plan that was announced last year.
This security plan was aimed at improving security force structures over the next few years. The plan included the doubling of special operations forces from 17,000 and the upgrading of what is now a division of special forces. It also included the increase in the country’s air force capabilities and better war management on the ground.
Officials said in line with this security plan, soldiers were pulled out of their posts along the Qaisar-Almar and Maimana-Jawzjan highways and stationed at other bases in district centers.
Reports on Monday meanwhile indicated that Afghan security forces suffered a heavy casualty toll as fresh waves of violence gripped several regions in Sar-e-Pul, Kunduz, Jawzjan and Samangan provinces.
Officials reported that the Taliban also suffered a heavy casualty toll.
Local officials in northern Jawzjan province confirmed that the center of Kham Aab district of the province fell to the Taliban.
Ismael, the district police chief confirmed the center had collapsed after the Taliban stormed the district at about 4:15am local time early Monday morning.
Kunduz provincial council members meanwhile said on Monday more than 30 bodies had been transferred to the provincial hospital. The bodies were recovered following battles in Dasht-e-Archi district of the province.
The soldiers who were wounded in the battles have said that the lack of reinforcements was one of the key factors of the high casualty toll.
The Taliban also attacked the center of northern Sar-e-Pul province on Sunday night, local officials confirmed.
The clashes started on Sunday night after the Taliban attacked the center of the province from three directions, a spokesman for the provincial governor Zabihullah Amani confirmed.