Fighting in Faryab displaces 1,000 families
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): At least 1,000 families have left homes and moved to safer places over the past two days in Khwaja Sabzposh district of northern Faryab province amid ongoing clashes between security forces and insurgents, local officials said on Sunday.
Abdullah Masomi, the district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News the clashes erupted when a Taliban commander, Rahimdad, who had earlier surrendered to the government, returned to the insurgency and captured Khwaja Qashri and Shorqol Abi areas near the Maimana-Khwaja Sabzpoh highway.
Over the past two days, an operation was ongoing to recover the lost areas from the rebels, Masomi said, adding seven Taliban and five uprising forces members were killed and another uprising member wounded during the clashes.
He said both the sides used light and heavy weapons. “At least 1,000 families have left their houses and took refuge in Khwaja Sabzposh district centre or Maimana city, the provincial capital.”
The district chief called using residential areas by insurgents as bastions and the lack of necessary coordination among security forces and the public uprising forces as reasons behind the slow-paced operation progress.
He said until mutual coordination among the security forces wasn’t observed, the fighting would continue.
Sakhi Mohammad, a displaced person from Khwaja Qashri, said he left behind everything and came along with his 12 family members to Maimana city to a relative’s house.
“Our village is under Taliban who are being shelled by government forces with mortars, cannon and rocket. Hundreds of families have been displaced, just saving their lives and leaving behind houses full of household items.”
Mohammad Alam, another resident of the area, asked: “Why the government with all these tanks and mortars cannot defeat commander Rahimdad and his comrades? A lot of people have been displaced because of the fighting.”
Rahimdad is one of Taliban notorious commanders who surrendered along with his 65 fighters to the 2nd vice president, Abdul Rasheed Dostum, in Khwaja Sabzposh district in the month of March.
However, the commander three days ago again rose in arm against the government and joined the Taliban ranks along with fighters.
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