The public uprising forces in Afghanistan’s northern Balk province on Thursday said they are ready to clear areas under Taliban control in the province.
They said that currently they are engaged in fighting on the frontlines with the Taliban, stating that they await permission from the government to launch offensives against the group.
TOLOnews’ correspondent Sayed Mohammad Aref Musavi, who reported from Afghania village in Nahr-e-Shahi district on the frontlines, said that hundreds of public uprising forces have deployed in the area to repel a possible comeback by the Taliban.
“We battled the Taliban for 15 days, our martyrs and wounded people remained there, but we never evacuated our checkpoints,” said Abdullah, a commander of public uprising forces in Balkh.
“With the help of the people and the security forces, we will soon clear the areas that we lost,” said Mohammad Sarwar, a commander of the public uprising forces.
The Afghan political leaders have pledged that they will defend against Taliban attacks.
“Today’s circumstances require us to defend the honor and dignity of our people and support our security and defense forces,” said Gul Mohammad Erkin, deputy head of the Junbish-e-Milli party.
“Planning is completed and we are determined to retake areas that we lost in the districts,” said Haseebullah Quraishi, the commander of the Afghan Public Protection Force in Balkh.
The situation in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the center of Balkh is carrying on as normal, say locals, and businesses are open as usual. However, the residents have said that there is a need for more robust security measures to protect the city from Taliban threats.