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Retreat in Helmand was tactical, Senate told

Retreat in Helmand was tactical, Senate told

Mar 22, 2016 - 19:02

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Senior security officials said on Tuesday security forces had staged a “tactical retreat” from some areas in southern Helmand province, assuring the Talibaninfo-icon would not be able to overrun the restive province.

The security situation in Helmand deteriorated after heavy clashes between security forces and the insurgents broke out.

The Taliban, who have laid siege to Marja district, are currently in control of Baghran, Dishu, Musa Qala, Khanshin and Nawzad districts of Helmand over the past four years.

On Tuesday, the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon summoned top security officials to brief the upper house about the security situation in Helmand and other parts of the country.

Lt. Gen. Abdullah Khan, head of the army chief office staff, said: “Last year, the enemy was unable to capture Helmand and we guarantee they would not be able to do it this year.”

He said four battalions of the 215th Maiwand Military Corps had been reorganised and were fully capable to respond to the enemy attacks.

Answering questions from Senators about the retreat of security forces, Abdullah Khan said the Ministry of Defence had removed 50 percent of check-posts which could be attacked by the enemy. The move was aimed to avoid the loss of security men, he said.

Khan said had security forces not left their check-posts, they would have been besieged by the enemy and would have been finally lost.

About rocket attacks from across the Durand Lineinfo-icon, Khan said security forces had been ordered to respond to the attacks in future. He said the issue of rocket attacks had been formally conveyed to the leaders of the unity government.

Lt. Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahman, senior security affairs in-charge at the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said: “Necessary orders have been issued regarding the rocket attacks from across the Durand Line.”

He added the Afghan security forces would do everything they had in their disposal to respond to rockets fired by the Pakistani forces.

Abdul Matin Baig, deputy head of the National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon), was also present at the session, but he briefed lawmakers behind closed doors.


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