Local officials in Badakhshan said on Thursday that after a seven-day operation, security forces have cleared the Taliban from Tagab district’s insecure areas.
Badakhshan Police Chief Abdul Khaliq Aqsaee said the Taliban had stationed themselves one kilometer from the district center for the past two years.
According to him, government forces slowed down their military operations with the arrival of Ramadan but when the Taliban attacked three districts – Arghanj Khwah, Khash and Tagab – a joint military operation was launched.
“We started a joint military operation one week ago to clear Tagab district in Badakhshan. Fortunately, we succeeded to clear the district. Eight of the militants were killed, 15 wounded and three of them were arrested,” the police chief said.
Local officials said the Taliban has now fled to Warduj district after they were pushed back from Tagab.
Meanwhile, a number of Badakhshan residents said Badakhshan’s districts will remain under threat by militants until Yamgan and Warduj districts are cleared of the Taliban.
“Taliban will retake the cleared areas if outposts are not established by government forces,” said Sher Ali Qasim, a civil society activist in Badakhshan.
“The clearance of other districts will be meaningless unless government clears Yamgan and Warduj districts of Taliban,” said Mujtaba, a resident of Badakhshan.
Responding to this call by residents, the police chief said the security forces will start clearing the two districts next month.
“We have an operational plan after Eid. We will clear Yamgan and Warduj districts hopefully,” Aqsaee said.
Despite the Taliban having control over Yamgan and Warduj districts; the militant group is active in parts of Badakhshan’s nine districts as well as in parts of PD8 and PD9 of Faizabad city, the provincial capital.