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People in northern provinces take arms to prevent Taliban onrush

AT News

KABUL: In the wake of intensifying battles in the northern provinces in which Taliban managed to take control of several districts, tens of youth in the provinces of Takhar, Balkh, Badghis and Baghlan have been armed against the rush of the insurgents.

“All jihadi commanders have joined the security forces in every directions,” said Najibullah Najib, a former jihadi commander in the northeastern province of Takhar.

“We will not let any Punjabis and their slaves and are standing against them in Takhar, in the country,” said Abdul Bashir an army officer in Takhar, using the word of Punjabi to refer Pakistani nationals who are allegedly fighting alongside Taliban fighters.

Officials in Takhar say that government entities in the districts of Rostaq, Kalafgan, Worsaj, Farkhar and Taloqan city the provincial capital.

“We are at the front line of battle,” said Khalil Zahed, a commander of public uprising.

Meanwhile, Farhad Azimi, governor of Balkh province in the north, says that former jihadi commanders have been mobilized against Taliban.

“Thousands of forces have been mobilized to defend Mazar-e-Sharif and retake the districts fallen to Taliban,” Azimi said on Monday.

Some former jihadi commanders say that handing of districts to Taliban is not acceptable, promising to stand beside government forces to protect districts and retake those areas lost to Taliban.

“We have fought Taliban for many years and I can assure you that we can prevent Taliban’s disorder,” Mohammad Amin Dara-e-Soofi, a former jihadi commander said.

“Unfortunately, the enemy has entered green zones in the past few days. There are enough forces from the special units in the Jamshidi and Balooch Khana areas,” Sayed Yasin Sadad, a senior army official in Balkh said.

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