SHEBERGHAN, Afghanistan, (Xinhua) — Hundreds of people have taken up arms against Taliban outfit in the northern Jawzjan province after the armed group has intensified activities in the neighboring Saripul and Faryab provinces.
“Several hundred people gathered in Faizabad district, Jawzjan province this afternoon and vowed to support government forces in the war against Taliban rebels,” a pro-government armed man Zabit Khan told Xinhua on Tuesday.
He added that the people have bought arms and ammunition with their own money to fight Taliban insurgents, and that “the remedy to eliminate Taliban rebels is mobilizing people against the hardliner group and backing government forces.”
Taliban militants fighting the government to regain power, according to locals, have killed innocent civilians, destroyed schools and ruined health clinics.
“We have been fed up with the Taliban’s harsh interpretation of Islam and their despotic policies,” another pro-government armed commander Sahib Khan told Xinhua, warning the armed insurgents to either lay down arm or face dire consequences of the people’s wrath.
Taliban militants in their recent onslaught have captured some villages in parts of Faizabad district of Jawzjan and Ghormach district of Faryab province and have set ablaze several houses, according to locals.
Even scores of women have taken arms in parts of Jawzjan province to quench Taliban threats over the past couple of months.
The armed outfit in its latest offensive against government interests launched coordinated attacks in the southern part of Jauzjan’s neighboring Saripul province early Tuesday triggering fighting.
“Taliban militants launched coordinated attacks on the southern part of Saripul provincial capital the Saripul city early this morning but fled away after suffering casualties and leaving nine dead bodies including two key commanders Gul Hamid and Mabariz,” provincial capital Mohammad Zahir Wahdat told reporters here.
Fifteen more militants have been injured and sporadic fighting between security forces and Taliban fighters is going on in some villages in the outskirt of the provincial capital the Saripul city 360 km north of Kabul, the official added.
He also confirmed that six security personnel have been killed or injured in the fighting.
Taliban militants, who are active in parts of Saripul province, haven’t commented.
Meanwhile, observers believe that the Taliban militants would intensify activities to gain more grounds and consolidate their grips ahead of snowfall in the mountainous country.
Special Report :Afghanistan Situation