Security forces have made advances with clearing operations in Pul-e-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province, on Wednesday night, Afghan commandos said on Thursday.
The security forces have cleared about 3 km in the Bolakha and Band-e-Mazar areas in Pul-e-Khumri and also retaken five security outposts that had fallen to the Taliban, according to the commandos.
TOLOnews reporter Sharif Amiry, who is in Baghlan, said the Taliban has left some parts of the areas where clashes with the security forces took place.
Several civilians’ houses and shops have been damaged in Bolakha and Band-e-Mazar areas due to ongoing clashes on Wednesday night, Amiry said, adding that the commandos launched the operation at midnight to push back the Taliban.
Footage shows some shops and houses were still damaged from Wednesday night’s clashes.
Before the operation, the Taliban tried to break through the the defenses of the security forces and enter Pul-e-Khumri center from Bolakha and Band-e-Mazar areas, members of the local forces said.
“We have retaken a 3 to 4 km area from the Taliban,” said Sediqullah Muradi, a commander of commando forces.
Parwiz Saydkheil, a security force member, said: “Forces have redeployed in those areas that were retaken.”
Imam Ali, a commando officer, said that in the past six months he has not visited his home, and he was wounded in his head four months ago.
“I will continue the battle as long as I am alive. I don’t have any fear,” he said.
TOLOnews' reporter Amiry said that for the "first time in the past 10 days several parts of the center of Pul-e-Khumri are calm and have not witnessed clashes.”
Eight districts in Baghlan have fallen to the Taliban in the fighting over the last three weeks. Security forces have retaken two of the districts: Doshi and Khinjan.
On Sunday, the government reported that 8,000 families were displaced in Baghlan in the last three weeks, leaving many of them stranded on the streets of Pul-e-Khumri while others live in close quarters with dozens per single home.