Dasht-e-Archi Cleared Of Taliban, Key Hideouts Destroyed
April 24, 2016
In a well-coordinated military operation in Dasht-e-Archi in Kunduz, security forces have successfully cleared the district of Taliban and destroyed their main hideouts.
According to Hamid Saifi, the commander of troops conducting the operation, the army destroyed insurgents’ tunnels and hideouts. He said insurgents tunneled their way to the district’s center.
Saifi said some of the tunnels were booby-trapped with mines, as were roads and tracks to the district’s main bazaar.
Footage released by the Defense Ministry shows that army troops cleared the outskirts of the town and then started a search of streets in the center to arrest and eliminate the remaining insurgents hidden in the area.
Once cleared of the Taliban, the troops raised the Afghan flag in the main bazaar.
The footage also reveals that army troops carried out a well-coordinated military operation to take back control of the area from the Taliban. Their operation lasted for at least two weeks as it is believed this was a key base for the insurgents.
According to troops, they found a stockpile of bread and food in the area, which was taken by the insurgents from local residents.
Saifi said that at least 40 insurgents were killed in the operation and a further 70 injured. However, six soldiers were wounded.
“Defeating the Taliban in Dasht-e-Archi means they are defeated in the northeastern parts of the country,” he added.
Residents of Dasht-e-Archi meanwhile said the insurgents used their houses as strongholds and that they forced many of the people to leave their homes and to give them food and bread.
“They [Taliban] placed mines in our houses and they were destroyed. Taliban left nothing for us,” said Abdullah, one Dasht-e-Archi resident.
The residents also said that the district’s main market had now re-opened – six months after closing due to insecurity. They added that their children are also once again able to play outside and spend time in the local playgrounds.