Afghan forces fighting to push Taliban insurgents out of Zaranj and Sheberghan

Afghan forces fighting to push Taliban insurgents out of Zaranj and Sheberghan

The Afghan security and defense forces have launched operations to push the Taliban insurgents out of Zaranj, the capital of the western Nimruz province, and Sheberghan, the provincial capital of the northern Jowzjan province, local sources told Kabul Now.    

Gul Ahmad Noorzad, an MP who represents Nimruz, says the Taliban have captured parts of the city but operatives of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) are present in the provincial directorate of NDS. He said that under the Taliban propaganda the Afghan security and defense forces, local government employees, and policemen left the city yesterday, August 06.

Clashes are underway between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban in the provincial directorate of the NDS.

MP Noorzad accused the central government of being too reckless in sending reinforcement forces to Chahar Burjak district where local security officials are stationed.  

Video footages circulating on social media show the Taliban insurgents at the entrance of the governor’s office. The footages show detainees breaking the central Zaranj prison and a number of people looting government facilities.

The ongoing war in Zaranj has forced thousands of people to flee their houses.        

The government currently controls Chahar Burjak district and parts of Delaram district in Nimruz.

As violence escalates across the country the Taliban insurgents have taken control over parts of Shebeghan city, the hometown of Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, a stanch anti-Taliban Uzbek leader who has a long history fighting the Taliban in the northern part of the country.  

The Taliban insurgents have claimed that they have taken control of police headquarters. Local sources in Sheberghan say that Afghan forces backed by local uprising forces are fighting the insurgents in Kart-e-Dostum, a neighborhood where the provincial directorate of NDS, Sheberghan airport, and Dostum’s palace are located.          

Babur Ishchi, the chairperson of Jowzjan Provincial Council, said parts of the city have fallen to the Taliban but the government offices are still under the control of the government. He described the security situation as “worrisome.” Mr. Ishchi urged the central government to deploy fresh commando forces otherwise he said the city would fall to the Taliban.  

Abdul Qadir Malia, deputy governor of Jowzjan, told Kabul Now that parts of the city have come under the Taliban’s control. He said the provincial government office, police headquarters, and office of NDS and army brigade are still under the government’s control.

Mohammad Karim Jawzjani, an MP who represents Jowzjan, says the city has fallen to the Taliban.

The Taliban have intensified military campaigns to take control over provincial capitals in Herat, Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Nimruz, Jawzjan, and Takhar provinces. According to the country’s security and defense agencies, the Taliban have suffered heavy casualties.

Fresh reports from Sheberghan suggest that clashes between NDS operatives along with people uprising forces and the insurgents are underway. Airpower is also hitting the Taliban fighters in the city, according to a local journalist.