The Afghan security forces on Sunday launched a massive anti-insurgent operation in northeastern Badakhshan after the militants seized control of parts of the province.
The operation started in Raghistan district and will be extended to other areas until the insurgents are eliminated, said Badakhshan Police officials.
The operation has caused casualties to the Taliban, Badakhshan police Chief Sakhi Ghafoori said, before adding that at least eight insurgents, including two foreign nationals have been killed.
Two security force members also lost their lives, he continued.
“We are committed to clearing Badakhshan from insurgents,” Ghafori said, adding that the forces also managed to retake control of several areas from Taliban.
Meanwhile, members of the provincial council welcomed the move by the security forces. They called on the security officials to install new security check posts in the key areas of embattled districts, especially Warduj and Raghistan.
“We one behalf of the people of Badakhshan warmly welcome the decision taken by the government,” provincial lawmaker Abdul Bashir said, urging the government to not keep the offensive for short period.
In addition, some other Badakhshan locals expressed optimisms that the operation will force the insurgents to renounce violence and join the government peace process.
“The operation will put a huge pressure on insurgents and this will likely force them to join peace,” said Ghawsuddin Rahman, head of Badakhshan peace committee.
Reports suggest that over 50 villages in Raghistan district are being controlled by the insurgent groups.
This year, Badakhshan was among the vulnerable provinces after the Taliban launched their spring offensive in April.