The Ministry of Defense says in a statement that military pressure on the Taliban continue in Badghis by Afghan and Coalition forces to break the siege in Bala Murghab district as the clashes entered the fourth day on Sunday.
The statement said that 22 militants were wounded and many weapon caches of the Taliban were destroyed in the airstrikes which according to the ministry will continue until the areas are cleared of the militants.
This is the second time in a month that Bala Murghab, which shares a border with Turkmenistan in the northwest of Afghanistan, has come under attack by the Taliban. Leaked photos on social media show that the militants have entered key parts of the district, but the Ministry of Defense said the situation is under control of the Afghan forces, who are fighting the Taliban from an army camp in the center of Bala Murghab.
“The joint airstrikes and operations are ongoing in Bala Murghab in which 58 militants have been killed and wounded. Eighteen militants were killed and wounded in Ab Kamari district,” said Zmarai Faizi, Commander of 207 Zafar Military Corps.
Badghis residents and local officials said many residents of Bala Murghab district have been displaced and have fled to the center of the province.
“Between 10,000 to 15,000 families have fled to the Qala-e-Naw city and Herat province,” a Badghis resident Ziauddin Akazai claimed. “They have not received any assistance so far.”
“Security forces acted late on Bala Murghab district. The casualties among the government forces would not have been this much high if they have acted on time,” said Abdullah Fazli, Deputy Head of Badghis district Council.
Other residents said the displaced families need assistance.
“We argue central government to conduct airstrike as soon as possible in the district to break the siege,” said Mohammad Asif a civil society activist in Badghis.
“Threats are high in the Bala Morghab district and enough assistance has not been done and the forces are not able to take those areas from the Taliban without air support,” said Ahmad Amiri, a Badghis resident.