Heavy clashes have been ongoing in Badakhshan for the past 13 days as security officials advance in order to retake fallen districts
Security Forces Clear Zebak And Ishkashim Of Insurgents
Badakhshan military officials said on Thursday that the Taliban has been pushed back from both Zebak and Ishkashim districts that had been under Taliban control.
Heavy clashes have been ongoing in the province over the past 13 days as security forces advanced in the efforts to regain fallen areas.
Early Thursday, officials confirmed the Afghan security forces had retaken Ishkashim and by lunchtime they said they had also retaken Zebak district.
TOLOnews journalist, Nematullah Ahmadi reporting from the frontline in Zebak early Thursday said that the Taliban has established many strong defending lines to keep the district under their control.
Bazgir, Surkh Dara and Shawal Dara villages of Ishkashim were occupied by Taliban following the fall of Zebak district, but now the villages are cleared, officials reported.
“The villages of Ishkashim have been cleared of the enemy and around 20 posts of the enemy have been taken by security forces. Two tanks belonging to the enemy were destroyed during the operation,” said Jalaluddin Yaftali, head of the army's Special Forces Unit in the area.
“The security forces are well-prepared and their morale is good. I am sure that they will retake Zebak and Warduj districts,” said Amanullah, a frontline battalion commander in Ishkashim district early Thursday.
Meanwhile, a number of public uprising forces who helped security forces push back insurgents from Ishkashim said if government supports them, they will play a broader role in fighting the insurgents.
“We pushed the enemy out of Ishakishm and now they are in Zebak district. Zarkhor village in Zebak district is the front line,” Nazri Mohammad Niazi, commander of public uprising forces said earlier in the day.
Badakhshan governor, Ahmad Faisal Begzad, also said military operations will continue against the Taliban and other armed anti-government groups until the insurgents have been eliminated.
“This was the first phase and second phase we intend to retake the center of Zebak district. Our security forces will retake Zebak center in the next days,” he said.
Currently Taliban control Zebak, Warduj and Yamgan districts of Badakhshan and are also active in another 10 districts of the province.
Security forces also said Taliban had launched a heavy offensive on Raghistan district on Wednesday night, but after clashes that lasted a few hours insurgents were pushed back by security forces.