Taliban flee as Dostum arrives in Jawzjan’s Qush Tapa
SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): Local security officials on Wednesday said Taliban militants had fled Qush Tapa district of northern Jawzjan province before Gen. Abdur Rashid Dostum reached there.
The first vice-president on Tuesday moved into Qush Tapa district with thousands of security forces for clearing the district of militants.
Before their departure, Dostum told security forces in Shebrghan, the capital of Jawzjan, they would first avenge Afghan soldiers beheaded by militants in Qush Tapa.
Gen. Reza Rezai, spokesman for the 209th Military Corps in the northern region, told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghan forces under Dostum leadership reached Chaqma Chaqar village of Qush Tapa district on Tuesday evening.
He said militants had withdrawn from the district and nearby areas including Turkman Oldi and Tashkotal without direct clashes with Afghan forces.
He said the Afghan forces were committed to permanently cleansing the district from militants through a massive operation.
Jawzjan deputy police chief, Col. Abdul Hafiz Khashi, said the Afghan forces faced no ambush or roadside bomb attacks. Bombs planted on roads were being cleared by security forces’ demining team, he said.
However, heavy clashes were reported in Hawz Bili area of Qush Tapa where militants had gathered, also causing casualties to civilians.
A resident of Shirbig village of Qush Tapa district, wishing not to be named, said: “Taliban in our village have a compound, but they escaped after they were informed about Dostum’s arrival in Jawzjan.”
He said it was for the first time that local people felt safe after militants captured their village three months ago and forced villagers into paying zakat and ushr.
The Taliban have not yet commented in this regard.
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