Ten days after the Taliban took control of the strategic district of Qala-e-Zal in northern Kunduz province, the Afghan security forces are still on the defensive.
TOLOnews reporter Karim Amini, who is reporting from the frontline, said security forces have taken up positions only a few kilometers from the district center. However, the Kunduz police chief has said security forces will soon launch an operation against the militants.
“Currently the district headquarters is the epicenter of the war between us and the enemy. We will soon launch a clearance operation as we are assured by officials,” said Mahbubullah Saeedi, Qala-e-Zal district governor.
“We have taken practical steps and you see that our forces are conducting their duties 200 meters away from the district center,” said colonel Naeem, deputy commander of border security forces in Kunduz.
“We will officially announce the clearance operation in Qala-e-Zal today or tomorrow,” said Kunduz police chief Abdul Hamid Hamidi.
It is believed however, that Qala-e-Zal has strategic significance for security forces.
This comes two days after Kunduz governor Assadullah Omarkhail warned the Taliban that the province will be turned into a ‘grave’ for the militant group if they refuse to end the violence and lay down their weapons within a month.