Clashes Reach Gates of Faryab’s Capital in Northern Afghanistan

With the centers of many districts in Faryab now under Taliban control, clashes have begun in the city of Maimana in the northern province, increasing the alarm of Faryab residents and lawmakers from the province in Kabul, who say that urgent action by the security forces is needed.

Along with fighting in the center of Faryab, the centers of 11 districts have fallen to the Taliban over the last 24 hours. The districts include Chal, Namak Ab, Yangi Qala, Khwaja Ghar and Hazar Samooch districts in Takhar, the Dara-e-Soof-e-Bala district in Samangan, Chahar Bolak district in Balkh, Khashrod District in Nimroz, Manjigak and Khanaqah districts in Jawzjan and Kharwar district in Logar.

Faryab lawmakers said the province needs urgent attention to push back the Taliban attacks from the center of Faryab.

The newly appointed acting defense minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi called on the people to stand with security forces and that the government will provide facilities and equipment.

The city of Maimana looked empty on Sunday morning following intensified clashes that inched closer to the center of the northern town.

“The people have been dispersed everywhere. Those who could have fled to villages,” said Darwish, a Faryab resident.

“The conflict has reached the gates and the outskirts of the city. The Taliban has reached the gates of the city,” said Mirwais, a Faryab resident.

Faryab residents warned that the city will fall to the Taliban if action is not taken to push back the militants.

“The government and the security and defense forces should take urgent action to save the Maimana city residents from this situation because it is on the verge of collapse,” said Shafiqa Sakha Yulchi, an MP from Farah.

The situation has been fragile in the northeastern province of Takhar over the last two weeks. Eight districts of the province, including Chal, Baharak, Ishkamish, Namak Ab, Yangi Qala, Khwaja Ghar and Hazar Samooch, have either fallen to the Taliban or have been evacuated by security forces within a week’s time.

“The war management is weak because they are not keeping one commander two months in one assignment. They are deployed from one place to another and from that place to still another. All the time passes during these reshuffles,” said Amir Mohammad Khaksar, an MP from Takhar.

Sar-e-Pul, Takhar and Faryab provinces in the north, Ghazni province in the center and Farah province in the west have lost the most territory to the Taliban over the last two months.

“If the Taliban chooses violence, continues fighting and bloodshed, they should realize that they will not achieve their evil end and will take it to the grave,” said Bismillah Mohammadi, the acting defense minister.

Meanwhile, a government forces supply convoy was attacked by the Taliban on the Kabul-Gardez highway in Logar province, causing many vehicles to be damaged, according to local sources.