Afghan, foreign forces recapture district from Taliban

Hundreds of Taliban insurgents had overran Barg-i-Matal district in Nuristan.

Kabul: Afghan forces backed by international troops have retaken a remote district near the Pakistan border that was captured by the Taliban at the weekend, officials said on Tuesday.

"No shots were fired and no one was harmed during this operation," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan said in a statement.

Hundreds of Taliban insurgents on Saturday overran Barg-i-Matal district in mountainous Nuristan province, a remote area bordering Pakistan, before raising their flag over the administrative headquarters.

Afghan police withdrew from the area saying they were staging a "tactical retreat", but also complained that requests for reinforcements from foreign forces had been ignored.

ISAF said on Monday that it was carrying out air attacks on insurgent positions.

In July last year, some 300 Taliban militants seized the same district headquarters before being pushed back by Afghan and international troops. The Taliban managed to hold the district for three days then.

In October 2009, Taliban insurgents killed eight American soldiers after storming another remote outpost in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan province.

Since the withdrawal of foreign troops from Kamdesh and Barg-i-Matal districts, Afghan police say the area has been under immense threat from insurgents infiltrating from Pakistan.

US forces announced plans to withdraw from the area as part commander General Stanley McChrystal`s strategy to focus his forces on population centres.

Bureau Report

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