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Reports about Afghan forces exiting Marja rejected

Reports about Afghan forces exiting Marja rejected

Dec 25, 2016 - 16:51

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Local security officials on Sunday rejected reports that said the Marja district of southern Helmand province had been lost to the rebels.

Few days back, some local media outlets said the 215th Maiwand Military Corps commander in Helmand in a letter to the Ministry of Defense had expressed his inability to protect Marja district and decided to leave it to the Talibaninfo-icon.

The reports said the corps commander had also sought advise from the MoD in his letter about destruction of nontransferable equipment in the district center so Taliban could not use them after they had left the district.

Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or lower house of parliament on Saturday also discussed the issue and decided to summon the defence minister.

However, 215th Maiwand Military Corps Commander Brig. Gen. Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai told Pajhwok Afghan News they did not exchange such letters on security situation of Marja district.

He said thousands of Afghan forces and necessary equipment were available in Marja district where more advancement would be made in near future.

Ahmadzai assured Helmand people that many areas would be recaptured from Taliban militants during an ongoing operation codenamed “Shafaq-2”.

He said reports about Marja district’s collapse were a propaganda of militants, asking the MoD to investigate media outlets that published baseless reports.

The commander said Taliban militants had been trying to mount pressure on security forces and capture a number of districts and Lashkargah, the provincial capital, but they failed to do so.

Helmand military operations chief, Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, also said such reports were propaganda. He said Afghan forces had never planned exit from Marja district.

Marja district chief, Haji Baz Gul, said he had also heard such reports but no one had directly shared the issue with them. He said there was no reason for security forces to withdraw from Marja.

He warned the fall of Marja would have a negative impact on overall security situation of the province. However, Gul added currently enough Afghan forces equipped with weapons were present in the district.

Marja is 35 kilometers west of Lashkargah city. Only the district center and a small area named Kamp is controlled by Afghan government while majority of areas are under militants’ control.



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