AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The National Security Forces on Saturday started a massive military operation in Raghistan district of Badakhshan province in order to eliminate insurgents in the area, provincial officials said.
Taliban insurgents are making all out efforts to turn the district as their strategic stronghold, local official said.
“We launched a large-scale military operation in Raghistan today (Saturday), and we have succeeded to take control of several areas. The enemy is fleeing,” provincial governor Faisal Begzad was quoted by TOLONews, as saying.
However, several provincial officials, including civil activities called on the government to maintain peace and stability in the areas once cleared of insurgents.
“Taliban is focusing on Raghistan because it has gold mines. They extract the mineral to finance their war. They [Taliban] will vanish and be eliminated if government takes control of the mine and the district,” TOLONews quoted Zia-ul-Haq Wasiq, deputy head of Badakhshan provincial council, as saying.
A provincial civil society activist, Mamoruddin Kofi termed public uprising as the only solution to eliminate the Taliban insurgents. He called on government to put weight behind local militiaman.
Raghistan is located in west of the province and its strategic location and mineral wealth has lured insurgents.
This large scale operation is coming as earlier, Afghan airstrike targeted terrorist hideout in the same district of the province, which resulted at killing of 50 insurgents and wounding of 12 others.
Ministry of defense said that the insurgents were involved in different terrorist and subversive activities in the district.
Badakhshan is one of the northern insecure provinces, where beside Afghan Taliban, stranger fighters including Tajik and Chechens carry out terrorist activities there.
Dr. Noor Mohammad Khawari, a provincial public health director, said that the presence of foreign insurgents deprived at least 2,000 children from polio vaccination in the Raghistan district.