Code 124524
PublishDate: Friday, June 22, 2018 12:12

Taliban take Afghan security forces hostage in Maidan Wardak

AVA- Taliban militants on Saturday took some 80 Afghan security force members hostage in central Maidan Wardak province following a clash between the two sides, officials said.
The Taliban took over a number of police checkpoints in the Jalriz district of the province after short periods of fighting, provincial council members Sardar Bakhteyari and Ahmad Jafari said.
The Taliban has conducted coordinated attacks with the aim of overrunning Jalriz district since Thursday.
"According to local people, there were no heavy battles, but the Taliban took over several checkpoints," Bakhteyari said.
Bakhteyari said it was not possible for so many checkpoints to be taken over without some form of collusion, adding that he believed the fighting was a result of ethnic clashes in the area.
"We have many reports that some of Public Order Police commanders have close ties with Taliban, and sometimes even watch cricket matches together in police checkpoints. Collusion in this case is not impossible," Bakhteyari continued.
Attempted assassination - peace efforts
On the same day, Paktiya Governor Shamim Katawazi survived an assassination attempt in central Logar province, a close aide told media.
Katawazi's convoy was attacked on the Logar-Kabul city highway, but he managed to escape unharmed.
The assassination attempt came as officials in the province worked towards persuading Taliban militants to hold peace talks, local authorities said.
The government hopes to establish the province as a safe zone for a renewed round of peace talks with the Taliban, officials said.


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