Abdul Jabbar Haqbeen, the Acting Governor of Sar-e-Pul province, on Friday announced that a joint operation by the Afghan security forces, dubbed "Operation Faith," was launched this week in hopes of neutralizing the insurgents operating in some insecure regions of the province.
According to local officials, more than 25 Taliban fighters have been killed or wounded so far, including top Taliban commander Ghulam Hazrat, also known as Toofan.
"The joint operation of the Afghan security forces was launched to clear the insecure regions, however, the operation was delayed due heavy snowfall," Mr. Haqbeen said. "The operation restarted yesterday from three directions, and so far 15 Taliban fighters have been killed and 12 others wounded; security forces also found the body of Taliban commander Ghulam Hazrat, who worked as a senior Taliban military commander and was also the killer of the Sancharak district Police Chief," he added.
The joint operation in Sar-e-Pul began two weeks ago, but because of the delays, it is expected to last longer than originally planned. "The operation still continues and efforts are underway to clean all areas of the presence of Taliban," Haqbeen said.
The operation began in Suzma Qala and some important parts of Sheeramha.
Referring to the casualties among the security forces, Haqbeen said that only a single Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier and a civilian have been wounded during the operation.