Twenty eight villages have been cleared of insurgents in Kohistanat district of northern Sar-e-Pul province following the First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum's arrival in the area, local officials said on Sunday.
Abdul Jabar Haqbin, provincial acting governor, said insurgents have fled the district to western Ghor province as well as to the Sayad, Suzma Qala and Sancharak districts of Sar-e-Pul. Haqbin said however that a massive military operation will be launched soon in the three districts to clear the insurgents.
"A number of Taliban have shown regret over what they have done and ... will [lay down their weapons] and join the peace process," Haqbin said.
This comes after Kohistanat came under heavy fire during massive clashes between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban. But following Dostum's arrival in the area three days ago, most parts of the district have been cleared of insurgents.
A number of residents of Sar-e-Pul have praised Dostum's efforts but said that the government should create more military bases in areas where insurgents are active.
"A number of residents of this province have bought weapons in order to defend their area. We are asking the people to not allow the Taliban to have activities on their areas," a resident of Sar-e-Pul, Asadullah said.
Abdul Kabir, another resident of Sar-e-Pul said that "we are asking the government to work on the plan for the stability of Sar-e-Pul."
The security forces have re-taken control of Dar-e-Alaf-e-Safid area of Kohistanat which had fallen into the hands of the Taliban a year ago.
The local officials said that nearly a thousand foreign fighters are in clashes with the security forces in Sar-e-Pul.
Sar-e-Pul has six districts – of which three of them face threats.