Taliban trying to capture Khwaja Ghar district
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Security officials say the Taliban militants have been trying to capture the Khwaja Ghar district of northern Takhar province, where another six towns are under high security threat.
Deputy provincial police chief Col. Mohammad Agha Daud told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban had intensified their efforts to wrest control of the Khwaja Ghar district.
He said clashes often broke out between militants and security forces in the district, but the insurgents were yet to reach their target of overrunning the town.
According to him, the Taliban had also created security problems in Dasht-i-Qala, Chah Ab, Rastaq, Darqaq, Yangi Qala and Khwaja Bahauddin districts.
Daud said the Taliban wanted to capture the Khwaja Ghar district and find their way to districts across the Kokchi River, but security forces had blocked their way and would not allow them to capture the town.
“Thanks God our forces in Takhar and particularly those in the Khwaja Ghar district have the ability to defend areas in their control,” the police official said.
He said besides national security forces, local police personnel had also been deployed for security of the Khwaja Ghar district.
Daud said security forces had recaptured areas from Taliban during an operation that left many militants killed and wounded. The offensive was aimed at clearing the district from militants.
Tight security measures have been put in place in various parts of the province on account of Eidul Fitr festival.
A civil society activist in Taloqan, the provincial capital, Iqbal Bazgar, told Pajhwok Afghan News if the Taliban captured the Khwaja Ghar district, they would block roads connecting another six districts with the provincial capital.
“There is no road to the six districts except one through Khwaja Ghar. If Khwaja Ghar falls, the six districts will also fall. Additionally, the Taliban could find a ring road in the north if they capture the seven districts.
The activist urged security forces to secure Khwaja Ghar from falling to the Taliban under any circumstances because the town had a direct impact on the security situation in neighbouring provinces.
A former jihad commander, Piram Qul Ziaee, said the protection of Khwaja Ghar was important for security of other districts.
“I have obtained orders from the unity government to create a 500-member strong Afghan Local Police force for deployment in six districts and work on this will be started after Eid.”
Security officials say a massive operation would be launched in the Kokchi, Darqad and Khwaja Ghar districts after Eidul Fitr.
The Khwaja Ghar district became insecure after the Taliban captured Dasht-i-Archi district in neighbouring Kunduz province and some of them sneaked into the district.
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