Afghan Forces Retake Key District in Balkh

Afghan forces retook control of Kaldar district in the northern province of Balkh as clashes continue near the provincial centers in Ghazni, Faryab and Takhar provinces.

The Hairatan border town, which is a key trade gateway and a port between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, is located in Kaldar district. The district is located along the Amu River and shares a border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The district fell to the Taliban a month ago. It was retaken by security forces and members of the public uprising forces on Monday.

“Our forces have made good progress. We will make efforts to protect civilians,” Balkh governor’s spokesman Adil Shah Adil said.

“We had clashes in 25 provinces in which the Afghan forces made progress,” said ANDSF spokesman Gen. Ajmal Omar Shinwari.

Shinwari said that 1,500 Taliban fighters were killed and 800 more were wounded in Afghan forces operations over the past week. The Taliban has rejected the claim.

Sources said that parts of Maimana city in Faryab witnessed mortar and rocket attacks by the Taliban on Sunday night.

The sources said that 16 people including three civilians were killed in the attacks.

“The situation is tough. We often hear the sounds of firing, including mortar and rockets,” said Ahmad Jamshid, a resident of Maimana.

Some residents of Takhar said the situation in the province is concerning. Some displaced families from the province describe very challenging circumstances.

“It has been more than a month that the situation got worse here. We have left our homes,” said Majid, a displaced resident of Takhar.

“People left their homes and property,” said Saifullah, a displaced resident of Takhar.

Ghazni residents said clashes on the outskirts of the city of Ghazni have affected their daily life, especially during the night.

“People don’t feel safe. They are afraid of mines, and bullets that might hit them when they are out,” said Abdul Rahim, a resident of Ghazni.

“There is fear among the people when they are traveling because the Taliban are on one side and the government is on the other,” said Reza Husain, a Ghazni resident.

This comes as First Vice President Amrullah Saleh in a social media post on Monday blamed Pakistan for supporting the Taliban and said the group has not changed.