Taliban take around 15 Afghan policemen hostage

KUNDUZ: Taliban took around 15 Afghan policemen hostage during an assault on a remote northern district, officials said, adding that security forces flushed out the insurgents from the volatile area Saturday.

Hundreds of Taliban insurgents captured Yamgan district in Badakshan province this week, killing and abducting several policemen as part of their annual spring offensive ahead of the withdrawal of NATO combat troops this year.

“Hundreds of Taliban militants captured Yamgan few days ago, and they were driven out of the district by Afghan security forces. Eight policemen were killed, seven others were wounded,” said Badakhshan provincial police chief Fazludeen Ayar.

“Yamgan district is now under Afghan security forces control,”  Ayar told AFP, confirming that several Afghan policemen were in custody of the Taliban.

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed Afghan security forces had recaptured Yamgan district.

“Afghan security forces have been deployed in the district,” Danish said. “Around 15 policemen were taken hostage and serious cleanup operations are still underway.”

Badakhshan provincial authorities said at least seven civilians were also killed during operation..