Police in the northern province of Balkh on Wednesday said that Afghan forces undertook an anti-Taliban operation--named Shaheen-611--in four districts over the past two weeks, and stated that Afghan forces have cleared 17 villages of Taliban in Balkh’s Sholgara district.
"5 government troops and 12 Taliban fighters" have been killed in the operation, said Adil Shah Adil, a spokesman for Balkh police.
He said that 7 security force members and 5 Taliban fighters were wounded in the attack.
Dalan is one of the villages in Sholgara which saw some of the fiercest battles, according to police.
“The Taliban launched attacks in the Dalan area and killed at least 9 youth of the country,” said Ghulam Sakhi Lala, a member of the Balkh provincial council.
“From this area (Dalan), they (insurgents) can move towards Chahar Kint district, they can go towards Samangan which connects the entire province,” said Zulfiqar Nazari, a member of the public uprising force.
“The Taliban launched attacks, the people escaped--they fled towards Mazar and other remote districts,” said Mohammad, a resident in Chahar Kint.
Over the past few weeks, fighting has dramatically increased between Afghan forces and the Taliban in Chahar Kint, Sholgara and Chimtal districts of Balkh.
Fighting also rages in the northern provinces of Faryab, Sar-e-pul, Jawzjan and Samangan.
In a recent battle occurring in Dara -e Suf district of Samangan, 9 civilians were killed and seven others were wounded.