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Operation launched to regain Janikhail district

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  Security forces supported by commando units have launched an operation to retake the Janikhail district of Paktia province after it fell to the Taliban four days ago, local officials said Monday.

Taliban militants captured Janikhil twice in the past two weeks.

The volatile district was retaken by security forces but it collapsed again on Thursday.

Local officials said the special forces and commandos are advancing and till now they have retaken Reshpakai pass in the district but are still away three kilometers from the district center.

Local officials added that improvised explosive devices planted by Taliban remain as main obstacle for rapid progress by the security forces.

Moreover, Provincial police chief Toryalai Abdiyani said he requested airstrikes on a number of occasions but his demand was entertained by the central command.

According to local officials both sides have claimed casualties but they did not give detailed information.

In addition to that, Provincial governor Shamim Katawazai said the military operation would be continued until the district has been cleared of Taliban militants.

Last week, local officials said the insufficient number of security forces led to the collapse of the strategic district. They called on the central government, particularly the Ministry of Interior (MoI), to overcome the shortage of police in the volatile region.

Janikhail district is situated at a distance of 150 kilometers to the west of the provincial capital Gardez City. It shares a border with Kurram Agency and Parachinar regions across the Durand Line – the disputed and unauthorized border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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