What after US departs? Afghanistan troops flee battle with Taliban, go missing
Kabul, March 18: At a time when stress is being given on the role of Afghanistan's domestic forces in looking after the country after the western forces leave, something disappointing happened on Sunday, March 17. Around 100 troops of the South Asian nation fled their posts and flee into the north-western neighbour Turkmenistan during a battle with the Taliban over the week, Associated Press cited officials as saying.
A provincial council member in Afghanistan's Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan, Mohammad Naser Nazari, said the soldiers though were not allowed to enter the neighbouring country and it was not known what happened to them. The Taliban, meanwhile, posted pictures of captured soldiers on social media.
Sources in the provincial governor gave further gruesome news that 16 soldiers were killed while 20 were injured during the clashes with the Taliban in Bala Murghab district in the same region. They said more than 40 insurgents were killed in the fighting that had subsided by Sunday with sporadic fights taking place in remote areas.
According to Nazari, 50 soldiers were killed while 100 could not be traced. He also said that several local people came to the governor's office to express their concerns about security in the province.
He also said Bala Murghab is almost entirely controlled by the Taliban while the Afghan forces are confined to the district headquarters only, the AP report added.
Attacks on despite Taliban-US talks for peace
The Taliban have regained their ground in Afghanistan despite the US forces fighting them for more than 17 years now. They launch attacks on Afghan security forces often, causing deaths. The attacks continue even as the Taliban have been in talks with the US aiming to establish peace in the war-ravaged country.