At least 1,500 Taliban fighters are fighting against the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in Jawzjan while two districts of the northern province are under the influence of the militant group, a senior security official said on Monday.
“The fighters are led by a designated deputy governor of the Taliban for Jawzjan, Mawlawi Sunatullah,” the deputy head of security forces coordination center in the province, Mohammad Zahir.
Mr. Zahir said that Khumab and Qosh Tepa districts in Jawzjan are under the control of the Taliban.
Khumab district shares a border with Turkmenistan while Qosh Tepa is located in the neighboring of Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces.
“There are 123 small and big groups of the Taliban in Jawzjan. Their number reaches to 1,500 people… They are busy in terrorist attacks,” Mr. Zahir told a gathering in Jawzjan where security officials briefed the audience on their activities.
Head of Jawzjan Provincial Council, Babur Eshchi, said there is a need for more attention to Jawzjan’s security.
“Insecurity has increased in Jawzjan. We are working to put pressure on the government to launch clearance operation in the province,” Mr. Eshchi said.
Jawzjan residents and activists who attended the gathering said there is a need for more attention to the security of the province.
Jawzjan is home province for First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum who visited the province on July 10 where he said the Taliban is using their full strength on the battlefields but the group will not win and that they will be suppressed by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Dostum visited three districts of Jawzjan, where he met with security forces on the frontlines and with the local residents.
Jawzjan and its neighboring province, Faryab, have witnessed heavy clashes between security forces and the Taliban in the past few months.