AT-KABUL: Afghan security forces after nearly three months of continued struggle finally recaptured Darqad district of northeastern Takhar province on Sunday as result of a joint operation, in which at least 20 Taliban fighters were killed, the ministry of interior said.
The clearance operation launched by Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan National Army (ANA) started late Saturday night.
Security forces Sunday early in the morning entered into the district’s center and the clearance operation was still underway in some parts of the district, where the security situation was now fully under control of the Afghan forces.
“It was a successful operation and the Taliban were forced to leave the area,” the media office of the interior ministry said in a statement.
At least 20 Taliban fighters were killed and four were detained, the statement claimed.
While confirming the recapture of the district, Ministry of Defense in a separate statement said that a soldier was killed and two more including a policeman was injured in the operation.
The district was captured by those Taliban in late October who were defeated in Kunduz. The district which is located on border with Tajikistan is playing a key role as a passage between the two countries.
A government official in the province, who did not want to be named, told Afghanistan Times that the district was used by narcotics traffickers when was under the Taliban control to smuggle drugs to Tajikistan.
Darqad is said to be the last district being recaptured from Taliban, who during the spring operation had captured several districts in Takhar and Kunduz provinces.