ANDSF Retakes Herat’s Karokh District Amid Fresh Spate of Battles

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) on Friday retook the control of Karokh district in Herat but one district fell to the Taliban in the last 24 hours.

This follows a relative calm across the country during the first and second days of Eid.

“A joint attack was carried out against the Taliban positions. These brave men managed to swiftly recapture this district from the Taliban,” said Jailani Farhad, a spokesman to Herat governor.

Sources said Taliban captured Ghazi Abad district in Kunar province.

The Defense Ministry said that government forces inflicted heavy casualties to the Taliban in at least 10 provinces across the country in the past 24 hours and killed over 150 Taliban fighters. Taliban has rejected the claims.

While Taliban is still trying to capture more swaths of land in the country, the Afghan security institutions have said that the ANDSF as part of the new security plan is trying to retake the country’s financial ports and other strategic locations from the militant group. The Afghan government recently said it will soon unveil a three to six months security plan based on which the ANDSF will be able to change the current situation.

Kunar is one of the provinces in the eastern parts of the county that saw some of the fiercest battles over the past few weeks. But Afghan officials have said that several villages have been cleared of the Taliban in the area.

“The government forces conquered areas in Chilamazar, Qaria-e-Mullah Ishaq and areas around Tapa-e-Taimoor, the enemies left these areas,” Kunduz police chief Zubair Safai said.

Nevertheless, President Ashraf Ghani has said that based on the new plan, the current security situation will change once the new security strategy is practically put in place.

Based on the new plan, the ANDSF will beef up security measures for major cities, airports, highways, strategic locations and ports.

“You resist for three months. In six months time, you will reach your desirable peace. Today the Taliban haae no will for peace,” Ghani said on Thursday.

“You can see that the public mindset is totally against the Taliban. No city in Afghanistan will collapse. All the strategic distircts and important border towns will be retaken,” the deputy minister of interior for policy and strategy, Naqibullah Fayeq, said.

There are also reports that at least 10 civilians have been killed in various provinces in the past 24 hours as a result of rewned violence.

Since the official announcement of the US forces’ withdrawal, 215 districts, including several economically-important port areas, are under Taliban influence.