News - Afghanistan
A number of Afghan Police have left their checkpoints in Sangin district of Helmand province, local officials said.
Officials and tribe elders in Helmand province said that the departure of police has coinciding with the end of the Zulfiqar military operation.
Reports indicate that police in the district said that without national army support and co-operation they could not remain at their security checkpoints.
The Zulfiqar military operation in Sangin was launched almost 50 days ago in a bid to rid local villages of insurgents. It has been a key operation carried out by Afghanistan National Army (ANA) members.
Earlier this week Dawlat Waziri, deputy spokesman at the Ministry of Defense, said that 311 insurgents in total have been killed and 114 have been injured in Helmand province, while the operation has resulted in the deaths of 42 ANA soldiers. MPs have said that considering the financial and human losses incurred during the operation, the achievements are not that positive.
Sangin is one of the most insecure districts of Helmand which is also a major route for narcotics and drug trade, providing funding for insurgency.
Helmand Police Chief, Nabi Jan Mullahkhail said the operation is being conducted very carefully so that the lives of civilians are not put at risk.
The operation was launched after reports surfaced of an increase in poppy cultivation in the southern parts of the country where insurgents have taken advantage as they receive funding through this activity.