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Taliban inching closer to Nawa center amid heavy firefight

Taliban inching closer to Nawa center amid heavy firefight

By
On
Jul 31, 2017 - 19:41

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Local officials in southern Helmand province on Monday called for immediately sending reinforcements to Nawa district amid heavy clashes about half a kilometer away from the district headquarters.

Nawa district chief Agha Mohammad Takra told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban had almost reached the district center amid an ongoing heavy gun battle.

“The fight is underway only half a kilometer from the district center, government facilities are damaged and civilians besieged by the militants,” he said and warned of a possible ‘catastrophe’ if additional forces were not sent forthwith.

However, he did not say how much worse the situation was, but said it stemmed from not conducting a large scale operation.

He said he had asked the authorities concerned to launch a major operation in the district, but the response was negative.

“They told us that they are equipping soldiers but have no plan to conduct any operations immediately,” he said.

Takra stressed the need for a wide-ranging operation as all civil services had been suspended in the district.

Governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak, confirmed security problems in Nawa district, but said a plan to improve the security situation in Nawa had been prepared and would be implemented soon.

“The operation this time will cover the whole of Nawa district and will continue until the district is completely cleared of militants,” he said.

Local officials did not comment about casualties in the conflict in Nawa.

On the other hand, Nawa Social Council head, Abdul Baqi Khan, also said heavy clashes were underway around the center of the district.

He said three security personnel were killed and scores others wounded during a clash in the area on Sunday night.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the conflict and said the militants blew up two tanks in Jarnamo area of Nawa. He claimed all security forces onboard the tanks were killed.

Nawa, one of the most unstable districts of Helmand, was captured by Taliban militants about nine months ago. However, the district was recaptured by Afghan forces on July 16 following a two-day operation.

mds/ma