Afghan Taliban ‘overrun Sangin area’

Media captionShaimaa Khalil reports from Kabul as a Taliban explain gains in Helmand province

Latest reports from southern Afghanistan advise that Sangin district in Helmand range is now roughly wholly underneath Taliban control after days of extreme fighting.

The infantry domicile and a categorical supervision building fell to a Taliban on Wednesday, a internal senator said.

The Taliban contend their fighters have seized a whole district.

However, a Afghan counterclaim method pronounced fighting was stability and that reinforcements had been sent.

Sangin saw roughly a entertain of British infantry fatalities during a UK’s fight goal in Afghanistan.

District administrator Haji Suliman Shah told a BBC he had been airlifted from a district HQ to Shorabak bottom – before Camp Bastion – in a provincial collateral Lashkar Gah early on Wednesday, along with 15 bleeding confidence force members.

A few hundred infantry and soldiers have taken retreat during an army fort about 7km (four miles) from Sangin, and are besieged there.

Why Sangin matters

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Afghan army opposite Helmand – here a policeman patrols Marjah district – have come underneath vigour from insurgents

  • Sangin is a abounding prolongation centre for drug in Helmand province
  • Helmand is a vital centre of a Taliban rebellion and borders Pakistan
  • Of a 456 UK infantry deaths in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2015, roughly a entertain were killed in and around Sangin
  • US and British infantry have been sent to Helmand in a final few days, though in an advisory purpose only

Read some-more about Sangin

Harsh lessons from Sangin

Who are a Taliban?

Ashuqullah, a infantry officer during a barracks, told a BBC a “entire” city was tranquil by militants. “We have not seen any help,” he said.

“Support infantry have been airdropped during a distance… though all roads are blocked and in a militants’ control,” he added.

There were many bleeding during a fort wanting obligatory evacuation, he said.

Speaking in Kabul, Afghanistan’s behaving Defence Minister Masoum Stanikzai described a conditions in Helmand as “manageable” and pronounced uninformed support infantry had been sent in.

Afghan supervision army had been “thinly spread” over a whole country, he said, and had been perplexing their best to reason all areas.

A tiny fortuitous of British infantry has been sent to Helmand “in an advisory role,” the British supervision pronounced on Tuesday.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed on Wednesday:

“The Sangin district centres, a infantry HQ, and other establishments were underneath continued attacks of a mujahideen and today… with God’s beauty a district was entirely prisoner by a mujahideen.

“The white dwindle of a Islamic emirate is during full pillar during a district now.”

Haji Daud, a conduct of a Sangin district people’s council, told a BBC that Sangin residents had fled a district to beside areas.

Responding to a counterclaim minister’s claims, he said: “Those whose family – brothers and siblings and relatives – are not fighting on a front, they always contend a conditions is not dangerous in a area…”

“Those who make such comments do not caring to urge Helmand.”

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These Afghan soldiers male a checkpoint on a approach to Sangin

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People from Sangin have fled to beside districts, a internal personality has told a BBC

Pharmacy owners Sarwah Shah, who fled to Lashkar Gah, told a BBC that all of a families vital on his travel in Sangin – around 20 to 30 houses – had fled.

Another proprietor Agha Wali pronounced he had fled Sangin with his children dual days ago. He had had to leave all his security behind, he said.

The Taliban have already seized control of all though dual districts in Helmand.

On Monday the emissary administrator of Helmand complained of a miss of supervision support in an open minute on Facebook to President Ashraf Ghani.

“Helmand will fall to a enemies and it’s not like Kunduz, where we could launch an operation from a airfield to retake it. That is only unfit and a dream,” he wrote.

In September, the Taliban quickly overran a northern Afghan city of Kunduz in one of their biggest victories given 2001.