Air Raids And Military Operations Stepped Up In Sangin


Local security officials said Saturday that air raids by foreign troops and ground force operations by Afghan Special Forces units have intensified in a bid to suppress militants in the embattled Sangin district in southern Helmand province.

The officials also said that Taliban has been hit hard by security forces after troops stepped up pressure on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a number of security force members have told TOLOnews that Taliban fighters are using military equipment which they have allegedly seized from Afghan security forces.

“The enemy has planted mines on the frontline of the war, they have taken positions inside residential homes to target security check posts,” said Shafiq Gulbahari, a police force member in Sangin.

“We cannot move forward from our posts, because Taliban can carry out an ambush,” a police officer Shinkai Qarabaghi said.

“Taliban fight with tanks and armored vehicles and destroy our security check posts. They have many tanks in Musa Qala and Nawzad districts,” another officer said.

Meanwhile, TOLOnews correspondent Abdul Wali Arian who is embedded with troops in the embattled Sangin district reports from the frontline that fierce fighting is still going on in the area between Afghan troops and insurgents.

He says the Taliban are hiding out in residential areas which is making it difficult for security forces to target them.

According to him, the Taliban has also planted mines in a bid to hold off troops.

Fighting has meanwhile been ongoing for about three months in the volatile district.

Troops fighting the Taliban on the ground said on Saturday that the government must act quickly and send in reinforcements to help the current deployment.

“It is a dangerous war, insurgents are operating an academy near a village here and fire on the security forces on a daily basis. They also provide training to the people – we can easily hear their conversations on satellite phones and we have recorded them. If government doesn’t act, soon they will capture the remaining posts. It is now two or three months that we are fighting them and we have never thought about retreating,” one Afghan soldier in Sangin said.

“Sangin is the frontline. There are threats of mines and the enemy fires from inside residential areas and their hideouts and then target security check posts. The distance between security check posts has also helped the enemy to take a foothold,” another soldier said.

Helmand, which borders Pakistan, is a strategic province for the Taliban as it is a key opium producing region.