Taliban captures district

2010-05-29 20:40

Kunar - Taliban militants captured the administrative headquarters of a remote Afghan district on Saturday, officials said, while a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Nato base in Kabul.

Insurgents had surrounded Bargi Matal district in Nuristan province, which borders Pakistan, on Friday and engaged police in a fierce gun battle, said Nuristan governor Jamaludin Badr.

The fate of police officers guarding the administrative compound - which houses government, police and judicial offices - was unclear.

"Since the district headquarters is inside the village in a crowded location we had to make a tactical retreat to avoid casualties to civilians" living in nearby houses, he said.

Afghan authorities often use the term "tactical retreat" when Taliban have overrun police forces and captured districts.

Difficult terrain

An army border police commander in the area, Mohammad Gul Himat, said police responsible for protecting the district had been missing since Friday and it was not clear if they had deserted or been killed or captured.

Only border police had remained to carry on the fight, which lasted all Friday night and Saturday morning, he said.

"Taliban have control over their radio facility which means Taliban have captured the district," he said.

Nuristan is a mountainous and rural province with difficult terrain.

Bargi Matal is the second district in the province to be captured by the Taliban after Kamdesh - which also shares a border with Pakistan - fell several months ago following the withdrawal of international forces.

Nato and the US have 130 000 troops fighting the insurgency, with another 20 000 due to be deployed by August, most of them to the volatile south, where the Taliban are concentrating their war.

Under a new US-led counter-insurgency strategy, the foreign forces are pulling back from rural regions to concentrate on populated areas.

Peaceful stretch

Taliban insurgents are waging a campaign against the presence of foreign troops and have promised to target personnel, both foreign and Afghan, and facilities associated with them or the Kabul government.

After a lull of almost three months in Kabul, attacks have escalated, with another on Saturday near a military caterer, when a suicide attacker with explosives strapped to his body blew himself up, causing no casualties.

The explosion took place east of the capital, close to a warehouse and supermarket run by Supreme Food Services, supplier of food to the foreign military, said interior ministry spokesperson Zemarai Bashary.

"It was suicide attack and the suicide attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body," he said.

Two suicide bomb attacks in Kabul earlier this month ended a peaceful stretch in the capital of almost three months.

On May 18, at least 18 people, including women, children and six international troops, were killed in an attack on a Nato convoy in a busy city centre street.

The following day, seven Taliban militants were killed and at least five Nato personnel wounded in clashes at the Bagram base.

Mistaken bombing

Nato addressed an incendiary issue on Saturday when it released the summary of a report into a missile and rocket attack by US forces on a convoy of vehicles that resulted in the death of 23 civilians.

The incident on February 21 sparked widespread anger at the presence of international troops in Afghanistan, and an apology from the commander of Nato forces in the country, US General Stanley McChrystal.

The report found that the vehicles "were mistaken for an insurgent convoy and engaged by coalition aircraft". The mistake was made in analysing images taken by unmanned drones, it said.

Information that the vehicles were carrying anything other than civilians - rather than militants racing to reinforce Taliban engaged in battle nearby - was "ignored or downplayed", it said, according to a statement by Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The incident, in an area of central Daykundi province that was carved out of Uruzgan province, killed four women and a child, and was the third such mistaken bombing raid in Afghanistan in a week.

It led to a swift apology to President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan people by the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, McChrystal, and a reprimand for four senior and two junior officers, the ISAF statement said.

Read more on:    taliban  |  afghanistan  |  security

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Cope: Zuma must listen to religious leaders

Cope has called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
  • Monday Somerset West - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.