MAIMANA (PAN insurgents in the Ghormach district of northwestern Faryab province.
The exodus came three days after security officials warned residents of possible attack from the Taliban, saying the armed rebels had gathered in nearby areas to storm the district centre.
The families who have moved to a nearby Qizar district and other areas are faced with numerous problems, including lack of drinking water and food.
One of the displaced persons, Abdul Basir, who arrived in the Qizar district along with six other families, said all the uprooted families led a miserable life.
“When the Taliban told us they are planning to attack the district centre, we took refuge here, but left behind our belongings in haste,” he said.
Basir said he spent two days in a hotel with family and later managed to find a house against rent, complaining the government was yet to assist them.
A tribal elder in Ghormach, wishing anonymity, said up to 2000 families had been displaced from Aab-i-Garam, Takht Bazaar, Petu and Ashor villages.
The elder, who along with 11 other families had arrived in the Chalgazi area of Ghormach, said the families were in dire need of assistance.
The Ghormach district chief, Nimatullah Sarhadi, said more than 1500 families had left their homes and had taken refuge in deserts and valleys, where they faced with numerous problems.
He said surveying the displaced families was problematic because some of them had moved to insecure areas.
Sarhadi said the Taliban had not yet attacked the district centre and lacked the courage to do so, asking the displaced families to return to their previous homes.
The provincial council chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani, three days ago said the government’s writ in the Ghormach district had weakened and if security forces were not provided weapons in time, the town could fall into the hands of insurgents.
On Wednesday, the 209th Shaheen Military Corps spokesman for Faryab, Mohammad Raza, said four Taliban insurgents were killed by the troops before they could attack a security post in the Sartakht area of Ghormach.
He said a notorious Taliban commander named Mullah Sur Gul and another insurgent were injured in the firing incident.