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Afghan Security Forces Withdraw From District In Uruzgan Province

Afghan security forces have pulled back from more Taliban strongholds in southern Afghanistan, continuing a withdrawal that began in February when they abandoned two districts in Helmand Province after months of heavy fighting.

Dost Mohammad Nayab, the spokesman for the governor of Uruzgan Province, said on March 1 that about 100 Afghan police and soldiers were pulled from checkpoints in two parts of the volatile Shahidi Hassas district after heavy fighting late on February 29.

Nayab said the security forces were redeployed in the neighboring district of Deh Rawud.

A Taliban spokesman said the withdrawal left the area around the village of Yakhdan under their control.

Nayab said Afghan forces want to create a reserve battalion in the Deh Rawud district, adding that forces from other nearby districts also may be moved there.

Government forces in Uruzgan Province have been worn down by combat losses and desertions.

Meanwhile, four Afghan police from Uruzgan Province were killed late on February 29 when another police officer who sympathized with the Taliban attacked them at a checkpoint in the northernmost part of Kandahar Province.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP