The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are continuing clearance operations in Balkh, Chaharbolak and Shokgara districts in Balkh province, which are intended to push back the Taliban.
The Balkh police department meanwhile said that at least 12 villages were cleared of the Taliban in the operation.
Adel Shah Adel, a spokesman for Balkh police, said the Taliban sustained heavy casualties in the operations.
He said one security force member was killed and one more was wounded.
“Over 18 members of the opponents (Taliban) were killed and wounded and 42 others associated with the group were arrested,” said Adel Shah Adel, a spokesman for the Balkh police.
Meanwhile, the Taliban in statement warned that the group will target wine-making factories and what it called "centers of depravity" and gambling centers in Mazar-e-Sharif city.
“According to our reports, these centers exist in some areas of Balkh, we had some arrests in recent weeks,” said Mohammad Farhad Azimi, a governor of Balkh.
“We can't go beyond Dasht-e-Shor area, I can't go to my district for the past three years,” said Ghausuddin, a resident of Balkh.
“People fear a rise in war, our people want peace,” said Samaruddin, a resident in Balkh.
Currently, eight districts in Balkh are facing threats. The districts include Zari, Dawlatabad, Chaharbolak, Chimtal and Kashanda.