Taliban overrun base, capture and release 100 Afghan security personnel

The Taliban overran a military base in the remote northern Afghan province of Badakhshan this weekend, capturing more than 100 police and tribal fighters before disarming and freeing them.

Taliban fighters began their assault on the Qala base in the embattled district of Warduj beginning on July 24, according to the jihadist group and Afghan press reports. The base was overrun by July 25, but the Afghan government and the Taliban differ on the reasons why.

Afghan officials claimed that a police commander known as Amanullah and his officers defected to the Taliban, TOLONews reported.

“Amanullah head of the border police in the military base made a deal with the Taliban insurgents because the military base did not have any problems and they had all the equipment,” a spokesman for the provincial chief of police said.

The Taliban claimed credit for the assault in a statement that was released on its official website, Voice of Jihad, but did not give any indication that the police defected. Instead the Taliban said the assault force detained “110 hireling ANA [Afghan soldiers], police and Arbaki militiamen.” Additionally the Taliban said it seized “10 PKM machine guns, 10 RPG launchers, 90 rifles, 3 Dshk heavy machine guns, 2 mortar tubes, an artillery piece as well as a large amount of ammunition and other military gear.”

The Taliban also said it overran “6 check posts near the base” and drove Afghan security forces from 12 nearby villages, putting the jihadist group in effective contol of Warduj.

“The enemy now only controls small pockets around the district center while the entire district is currently under the control of Islamic Emirate,” according to the Taliban statement.

The Taliban’s claims cannot be independently verified. But Afghan press reports do back the Taliban’s assertion that it seized the base, captured the Afghan security personnel, and confiscated their weapons. A provincial official told Khaama Press that 107 security personnel captured at the base have subsequently been freed and the facility remains under Taliban control.

Badakhshan, which had been a relatively peaceful province up until several years ago, has become a battleground for the Taliban and its allies. The Islamic Jihad Union, an al Qaeda and Taliban-linked group, said it has deployed fighters to the province as part of the Taliban’s “Azm” offensive. The districts of Jurm, Warduj, and Yamgan have shifted between government and Taliban control several times over the past year. The Taliban have taken advantage of the government’s inability to maintain security in the remote, mountainous province.

The Taliban have publicized much of the recent fighting in Badakhshan. In a video released in May, the Taliban highlighted the fighting in Warduj and Yamgan districts. Qari Fasehuddin, the Taliban shadow governor for Badakhshan who is said to have 1,000 fighters under his command, was featured in the video. [See LWJ report, Former Taliban shadow governor appears in new propaganda video depicting recent combat in Badakhshan province.]

The fighting in Badakhshan almost backfired on the Taliban after fighters beheaded seven Afghan soldiers this spring. After widespread condemnation in the media, the jihadist group felt obligated to issue an official statement admitting the beheadings were wrong, but then placed the blame for the grisly acts on the Afghan military, claiming its forces executed Taliban fighters and civilians. [See LWJ report, Taliban admit to beheading Afghan soliders ‘in revenge’.]

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Tony says:

    It’s almost like this is just going to happen forever in a circle. I don’t even feel I need to make comments stating that anymore.

    These people don’t want stability, therefore they shall not receive it. Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria will most likely be in a perpetual cycle of violence well past our lifetimes.

  • oldTimer says:

    “The jihadist group was forced to issue an official statement in which it admitted the beheadings were wrong, ”

    Of course they are wrong . As , to the best of my understanding , the Taluban, unlike the western-conspirator-fomented ISIS and al-CIA-duh, have never claimed to be from the deviant salafi sect (spawned by the Brittish agent Muhammad Ibn Abdul al-Wahhab ) or anything other than Ahlul Sunnah Muslims of Traditional Normative Islam. And , surprise surprise , whereas in the zionist-nurtured Frankenstein-like Salafi Mutation of Islam any Tom Dick and Harry can just pull out a pocket knife and start beheading kaafirs,

    According to Standard Islam as it exists, which the Taluban claim to adhere to, kaafirs may only be beheaded according to the Shariah- which means ONLY if they are found guilty , after a speech fair trial, in a just court of law , may the kaafirs be beheaded, and by one swift stroke of a well sharpened sword.

    Isn’t it ironic that ISIS and al-CIA-duh, despite their brutality and extremism , are actually preferred by the western kuffaar , to the Traditional Muslims who follow Traditonal Islam and insist on Court of Shariah Law. As a matter of fact and as a side note , according to Traditonal Islam Muslims don’t hate kaafirs we make Good prayers for them actually and the Prophet salalahualayheewasalam used to stand up praying at night until his feet were swollen about how can all of mankind be saved from the horror of eternity in Hell? It’s kufr (an idea or concept) that Traditonal Muslims are taught by Islam to HATE. Not the kaafirs (non-Muslims) themselves.

    I request Bill and the admins to let this humble post of mine exist In peace . And i ask the LWJ readers to comment on this : is not ISIS something we can all come together on and agree to work together against to destroy once and for all?

  • irebukeu says:

    We will be seeing more and more of this if history is any indication and it usually is.
    There is a long tradition of this type of behavior in Afghanistan.

    1 All the captives were released with none being shot or beheaded AFTER capture. Not even the commander.
    2 They were ALL released after the taliban and local elders held a pow wow.
    3 The local elders pledged with their usual veracity, that THESE fighters will NOT rejoin the fight. They are done for the fight according to the elders.

    The Taliban, by accepting the condition show that they trust the elders or seek to gain the elders trust or else just do not care if they rejoin the ‘fight’.

    I expect whatever group of people these elders represent will rearm and re equip a new force at government expense and get them out into the field where they will draw their rentier state yankee dollar paycheck, ignore the Taliban pretending not to see them and occasionally just lose their weapons. I expect them to use lots of ammunition always but to declare their district taliban free.
    What a joke
    Obviously a bargain had been struck at that pow wow saving the lives of these fighters. That is what we can reasonably assume the elders wanted-the lives of their own sons and grandsons.
    What did the Taliban want in return for their lives? They had them in their clutches already.
    What did the elders promise but have yet to deliver?

    Do not trust these people
    Do not embed Westerners, especially Americans with these people.
    If the Afghans can’t secure it, It cannot be secured.


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