NATO cooperation needed against rebels in Baghlan: CSN
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): The Civil Society Network (CSN) on Saturday suggested that NATO forces should cooperate with their Afghan counterparts in eliminating Taliban militants in northern Baghlan province.
One of CSN members in Baghlan, Abdul Nasir Ghaffari, told Pajhwok Afghan News the war in the province was being fuelled by regional intelligence agencies. He alleged foreign militants were also fighting against the government in Baghlan.
The Taliban had built strongholds, including caves, in Dand-i-Ghori and Shahabuddin areas of Pul-i-Khumri, he said, adding the neighbourhoods were strategically important for north and northeastern regions.
Ghaffari added the Taliban, including Chechen and Pakistani fighters, had come from Faryab, Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces to Baghlan. “NATO forces should help eliminate the militants, who may threaten all northern provinces.”
At a press conference, the CSN released a statement that said NATO forces should cooperate with Afghan forces in the operation codenamed Khurshid 10. It added Afghan forces could not fight all militants independently.
The ongoing offensive was launched by the Afghan National Army (ANA) on January 30. Governor Abdul Sattar Barez has said 135 militants including foreign fighters have been killed and 95 others wounded during the operation.
On the other hand, provincial police spokesman Zabihullah Shuja said Kokchenar and Qaisarkhel areas of Baghlan-i-Markazi district had been cleared of militants during the operation over the past two days.
He said 27 rebels were killed and 28 others wounded. A house-to-house search is ongoing. So far five roadside bombs planted by the Taliban had been defused, Shuja claimed.
However, the Taliban claimed their casualties were less than Afghan forces’.
Mohammad Rassoul, head of the CSN, said the government should utilise all available resources to reconstruct the power pylons blown up in the Dand-i-Shahabuddin locality of Baghlan.
Breshna Sherkat (power utility) Director, Ghulam Hussain Haidar said electricity supply was yet to be restored. He had no idea when the security situation would improve in the area.
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