Afghan Police Defect to Taliban in Secret Deal

Police Burn Station, Leave District to Join Taliban

Afghanistan’s Ghazni Province has lost a police station as well as an entire district worth of police forces today when the police chief for the district arrived to discover the station burned and every police officer gone.

It didn’t take long for Police Chief Mohammed Yasin to figure out what had happened. “The Taliban and the police made a deal.” All 19 officers had left, taking their guns, vehicles and uniforms with them to join the Taliban fighters in the countryside. They burned the police station and other buildings on their way out of town.

Previous reports had the Taliban launching a mass attack on the district and destroying the government buildings and rumors that the police had been “taken prisoner.” Taliban spokesman and provincial officials both agree now, however, that the police left as part of a planned defection following several rounds of talks with local insurgents.

Provincial Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada insisted that security forces will continue to search for the police and the Taliban they joined with. Taliban spokesman Mujahid insisted that they were long gone, haven’t melted into the countryside.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.