The Bala Murghab district in the northwestern Badghis province, which came under attack by Taliban militants last week, is still under siege by the insurgent group, the district governor and a security official confirmed on Friday.
The roads to Bala Murghab have been blocked by militants and according to District Governor Waris, the insurgents have arrived to a distance of one kilometer from the center of the district.
Bala Murghab is the largest and the most populous district in Badghis.
At least 20 Afghan Army soldiers have lost their lives during the one-week battle in the district, Waris said.
The district governor said at least 11 security outposts and a unit of Afghan Army have fallen to the militants. At least 28 Afghan Army soldiers have disappeared following the Taliban attack, he added
“At least 11 security outposts and a unit of Afghan Army have been captured by the Taliban. But reinforcements have been deployed to the area,” Waris stated.
“Bala Murghab is an important area. The west and the north of the country will be under threat if it falls to the Taliban,” said Akazai, a resident of the district.
Security officials in the district, meanwhile, said the situation is “under control” of government forces and that military operations are ongoing.
“We have launched military operations in certain areas and now the situation is normal in the district. We can target the enemy wherever they are,” Badghis Police Chief Khalil-Ur-Rahman Jawad said.
Some security force members on the frontlines assured the Bala Murghab residents that they will “eliminate” the Taliban from the area.
“We have all equipment and we can launch operation either at night or during the day. Security forces do not have any problem and we will chase the enemy,” said Bashir Ahmad, a police officer.
“The enemy has come to the province from various parts of the country and wanted to take control of Bala Murghab district. They had a big plan, but we defeated them,” said Haji Mullah, a policeman.