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Samangan governor seeks offensive against Taliban

24 Jan 2021 - 18:37
24 Jan 2021 - 18:37

AIBAK (Pajhwok): The governor of northern Samangan province on Sunday feared the fall of Dara-i-Suf Paeen and Darai-i-Sauf Bala districts into the hands of Taliban insurgents, asking security forces to switch to offensive posture, but the Shaheen Corps commander said the Taliban would be vanquished if they did not make peace.

The security situation of Samangan province was reviewed during a meeting between the leadership of the province and the commander of the 209th Shaheen Corps in the office of the governor on Sunday.

Governor Mohammad DaudKalkani told the meeting that there was coordination between security forces in the province.

He said the security situation in the center and five districts of Samangan was good but the situation in Dara-i-Suf district was dire and the only center of the district was under government’s control and the rest of the areas were in the hands of Taliban.

The governor said 400 to 600 Taliban insurgents were active in the province and they planned to intensify fighting next spring and capture Dara-i-Suaf Paeen and Dara-i-Suaf Bala districts.

He said if these districts fell to the Taliban, the rebels would take position in a strategic area and could threaten the security of Balkh, Samangan and Sar-i-Pul provinces.

“Our security forces must step out of their defensive posture and launch clean-up operations to eliminate them (the Taliban)”, Kalkani said.

He noted that roads in the upper and lower Dara-e-Suf districts were in the hands of the rebels and security forces needed to be deployed along the routes.

Lt. Col. Hussein Shalgarai, commander of the Coordination Center, said the Taliban earned about three million afghanis a day from coal-carrying vehicles on the route that connects Aibak and Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province with the Suf Valley.

He added that the Taliban used the money to buy weapons and ammunition. But this could be prevented by creating three camps along the route.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Gholam Mustafa Wardak, commander of the 209th Shaheen Corps, said at the meeting that the purpose of the corps leadership visit to Samangan was to review the security situation.

He added that the commander of the Shaheen Corps had launched operations against the Taliban.

He called on the Taliban to join the peace process and stop the bloodshed, otherwise they would be destroyed.

bk/ma

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