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Residents panic as rebels mount attacks on Nuristran posts

Residents panic as rebels mount attacks on Nuristran posts

May 07, 2017 - 19:34

PAROON (Pajhwok): Over the past three days, insurgents have been attacking security posts in Want Waigal district of eastern Nuristan province, panicking local residents.

Members of the provincial council said the rebels had besieged the district, police rejected the claim and confirmed clashes were ongoing.

Nuristan provincial council head, Sadullah Painda, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Sunday that the Want Waigal district had been under insurgents’ siege over the past three days. Taliban were engaged in fighting with security forces, he added.

He said insurgents had once conducted a coordinated attack on the district last year, when they suffered many casualties. The latest attacks were to avenge the last year’s incident.

“The insurgents have installed machine guns, rifles and mortars on mountains surrounding the district. They sometimes fire their guns.”

According to him, the insurgents were trying to capture the strategic district that borders three districts of neighboring Kunar province and some other districts of Nuristan.

Residents of the district said they were deeply worried about the situation as periodic clashes continued. They asked the government to launch an operation to break the siege.

A resident of the area, Sibghatullah said businesses and other activities including academic had been at a standstill over the past three days as clashes feared anytime.

On the other hand, Nuristan police chief, Brig. Gen. Ghulam Mohiuddin Sarwari denied the siege of Wat Waigal. He said the insurgents used the mountainous terrain to sporadically attack security posts of the district.

“A siege leaves roads blocked and travelling impossible. The district is not besieged, this is just propaganda of the enemy.”

Meanwhile, 201st Selab Military Crops spokesman Maj. Sherin Aqa Faqiri said insurgents wanted to disrupt the security situation of the Want Waigal district by attacking security posts; but they faced stiff resistance from security forces.

He knew nothing about casualties, but said security forces were currently busy conducting a clearing operation in the area. He didn’t go into details.

Nuristan is an insecure province in the east where reports about Taliban overrunning districts sometimes emerge.