MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — Not less than 100 Afghan troopers deserted their posts and fled imminent seize by the Taliban by crossing the nation’s border into neighboring Turkmenistan, solely to face speedy expulsion, Afghan officers mentioned on Saturday.
It was the newest in a sequence of rebel assaults within the hotly contested Bala Murghab district, the place a whole Afghan Military firm was killed or captured on Monday. By Saturday, its defenders mentioned the district had largely fallen into Taliban management.
Afghan officers gave various accounts of what occurred Saturday, with some saying the troopers can be returned to security by Turkmenistan, and others that they’d been pressured again by the Turkmenistan Military right into a no man’s land, a 500-yard-wide strip between border fences. And a few mentioned the troopers had been pressured again into Taliban fingers by day’s finish.
Saleh Mohammad Mubarez, the commander of the Afghan native police within the district, mentioned that 140 troopers from the Afghan Border Police, a army unit, had fled towards Turkmenistan after two days of Taliban assaults on bases within the Morichaq space.
“The state of affairs could be very unhealthy: The district is on the snapping point,” Mr. Mubarez mentioned. “The reinforcements haven’t been sufficient. The air pressure should assist and launch airstrikes.”
Qais Mangal, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Protection, confirmed that the troopers had fled towards Turkmenistan however insisted that they had been “inside Afghanistan.” Jamshid Shahabi, a spokesman for the Badghis provincial governor, mentioned the troopers had fled as a part of a beforehand organized safety plan.
Others described a extra dire state of affairs.
Habibullah, a military officer on the battlefield who like many Afghans makes use of one identify, mentioned that after heavy strain on two bases, 20 troopers had surrendered to the Taliban and greater than 100 fled to the Turkmenistan border. “We misplaced contact with them,” he mentioned.
Farid Akhezi, a member of the Badghis provincial council, mentioned 12 Afghan border posts had been deserted, with 50 troopers surrendering to the Taliban and 100 others fleeing into Turkmenistan. He mentioned that nation’s military pressured them again, so that they surrendered to the insurgents late on Saturday.
Most of troopers had been mentioned by native officers to be a part of the Afghan Border Police, which is a part of the Afghan army. Mr. Mangal, nevertheless, mentioned they had been native irregular militiamen, not troopers.
The Taliban worn out a whole Afghan Nationwide Military firm in the identical district on Monday, killing 16 troopers and taking 40 prisoner. Over the course of the week, 36 Afghan safety pressure members had been confirmed killed in Taliban assaults in Badghis Province.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed that the insurgents had now captured the Morichaq space. “Greater than 30 troopers surrendered to the Taliban,” Mr. Ahmadi mentioned. “The remaining troopers tried to cross the border, however Turkmenistan’s border forces didn’t permit them.”