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17 ANA troops lost to Taliban siege in Uruzgan

17 ANA troops lost to Taliban siege in Uruzgan

Mar 22, 2017 - 18:21

TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Seventeen dead bodies of Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers have been evacuated from a base the Talibaninfo-icon militants have besieged over the past six months in central Uruzgan province.

Provincial council members criticized on Wednesday the Ministry of Defense (MoD) for failing to break the siege that they said had so far resulted in losing a large number of soldiers.

Last week, Taliban fighters stormed the ANA Khurma Base on the outskirts of Tirinkot, the capital of Uruzgan province, killing 10 soldiers, according to local officials.

The Afghan Red Crescent Societyinfo-icon (ARCS) on Tuesday confirmed evacuating 17 bodies from the base. The society said 12 soldiers had been killed in direct fighting with Taliban and five others were killed after they had been taken hostage in wounded condition.

Uruzgan provincial council head, Amir Mohammad Barakzai, said the base had been under the Taliban siege for the last six months. “We have several times asked local and Kabulinfo-icon officials to rescue the soldiers, but they did not care,” he said.

Barakzai told Pajhwok Afghan News local officials and the military corps were not utilizing resources available with them to break the siege.

He said several ANA soldiers of the 205th Atal Military Corps and the provincial brigade had lost their lives to the conflict.

Before laying siege to the base, the Taliban militants captured many ANA bases including that of the public order battalion and inflicted casualties to dozens of Afghan forces in Uruzgan, he said.

Barakzai warned other military bases currently besieged by the rebels would also fall and many security personnel would lose lives if the officials concerned did not take action as soon as possible.

He said many security forces stationed in five kilometers of the provincial capital remained surrounded by militants.

Mohammad Ibrahim Rahmani, a member of the provincial council, also brother of Khurma Base Commander Mohammad Karim who was killed in clashes with Taliban, said that the government was doing nothing to drive the rebels from the besieged base.

He said the besieged forces had not only run out of munitions, but they hardly found access to food due to the siege.

His brother repeatedly asked the brigade commander to launch an operation against the militants and rescue them, but he did nothing.

The task force was located just 10 kilometers from the base and his brother and other ANA troops fought until they were killed by the Taliban when their bullets had finished.

Mohammad Radminsh, deputy spokesman for the MoD, said security forces had tried to reach the base and they had rescued some personnel as well.

He said the MoD had always reached out to Afghan forces when needed help in every part of the country.

A large convoy of ANA forces was heading to Uruzgan and they would help rescue the besieged personnel, he said.




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