Friday, February 02, 2007

Afghanistan : Town Recently Controlled By British Forces Now Falls To Taliban

As the world's media focuses on the daily bombings and slaughter in Iraq, the 'war at home' in the US Congress over Bush's troop "surge" plan, and the increasing tensions between the US/Israel and Iran, the war goes on in Afghanistan.

From the UK Guardian :

Taliban militants have reportedly overrun a southern Afghan town that British troops pulled out of last year after a local peace agreement was reached.

A resident of Musa Qala said 200-300 Taliban fighters seized the town, took weapons from police and destroyed a government compound late yesterday.

Colonel Tom Collins, a spokesman for Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said an "unknown number" of militants had apparently entered Musa Qala and that Nato had conflicting reports about tribal elders temporarily being taken hostage.

Asadullah Wafa, the governor of Helmand province, said the militants came into the town Wednesday, disarmed the police force and then returned yesterday and destroyed part of the compound housing the district's governor and police.

British forces are based in Helmand province but pulled out of Musa Qala in October after a peace agreement was signed between local elders and the Helmand governor with the support of the British troops. According to the deal the security responsibilities were turned over to local leaders, while Nato forces were prevented from re-entering the town.

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