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Afghan forces recapture key district from Taliban

Wardoj district in north is a bastion for foreign militants for years, Afghan officials say

Shadi Khan Saif   | 07.09.2019
Afghan forces recapture key district from Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan 

After many years of Taliban control, the Afghan forces on Saturday claimed to retake key Wardoj district in the north that was long seen as a main bastion for foreign militants.

In a series of tweets, Assadullah Khalid, the minister of defense, as well as other security officials celebrated recapturing Wardoj district of northern Badakhshan province bordering Tajikistan.

A statement by the defense ministry said that 100 Taliban insurgents including Qari Fasihuddin, Taliban’s shadow governor and Qari Hafiz, head of Taliban’s military wing for Badakhshan were killed in the operations carried out to retake the district.

The ministry said that Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties in the operation.

Amid ongoing rejuvenated yet fragile peace talks, Afghanistan has witnessed an alarming spike in violence claiming lives on all sides.

Over the last weekend, Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, announced to have clinched an agreement "in principle" with the Taliban pending approval from President Donald Trump.

In a televised interview with the local Tolo News, he said the deal would see an initial withdrawal of 5,000 American troops within 135 days.

However, a number of U.S. diplomats, senators and military generals as well as the Afghan government have criticized this deal.

Waheed Omar, Director General for Office of Public and Strategic Affairs, said in a series of tweets earlier this week that "some of the details of the US-TB (Taliban) agreement need serious debate and revision."

He announced on Monday that Ambassador Khalilzad has 'shown' copy of the draft framework to President Ghani; not 'handed'.

The Afghan government led by President Ghani sees postponement of the Sep. 28 presidential elections - something the Taliban demand - as rolling back of the state-building process and surrendering to the insurgents.

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