Taliban will not succeed by force, says Defense Minister

KABUL (TOLOnews): Amid an unprecedented increase in the level of violence in the country, the acting minister of defense, Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, warned that he will not allow the Taliban to impose their goals on the people by continuing their military campaign.
Mohammadi said that the support of the people, as evidenced by the joining up of public uprising forces with Afghan forces, has boosted the morale of the security forces and in some cases decreased the threat level.
“Today’s war and our legitimate defense are to ensure peace and stability and to end the suffering of our people,” Mohammadi said. “The Taliban will not succeed if they try to impose their goals on the people through force.”
The government said that the centers of Dara-e-Sof district in Samangan and Garmsir in Helmand have been retaken by ANDSF forces, while sources reported that Malistan district in Ghazni, Nijrab in Kapisa and Dehraood in Uruzgan have fallen to the Taliban in the last 24 hours.
The city of Taluqan in northeastern Afghanistan once again witnessed attacks by the Taliban on Sunday evening, according to officials. The attacks, officials said, were pushed back by security forces and public uprising forces.
In a recent clash in Takhar, the police chief of the province sustained injuries and is being treated in Kabul, according to officials.
“The situation in Takhar is not good. Clashes are underway. We call on both sides to agree to a ceasefire,” said Fahim Ibrahimi, a Takhar resident.
“I am on the frontlines. We will defend the city of Taluqan with the support of the Afghan forces,” said Malik Ahmad Tatar, a commander of the public uprising forces.
Besides Taluqan, the centers of Kandahar, Helmand, Ghazni, Faryab, Kunduz and Laghman provinces are also witnessing clashes between government forces and Taliban.
“The public uprising forces should be supported. There should be changes in appointments of leaders that were based on relations. Those who are effective should be deployed. This can prevent collapse,” said Khan Agha Rezaee, head of the internal security commission of the Parliament.
The Defense Ministry said that efforts are underway to clear areas from the Taliban that have recently fallen to the group.
“They should make public the reason why Nijrab collapsed: There were enough troops to protect the district,” said Hashmatullah Ishaq Zada, head of Kapisa’s civil society association.
“The security forces, public uprising forces and the army succeeded in clearing the Taliban out of Dara-e-Sof district,” said Abdul Munir Rahimi, spokesman for the Samangan police.
The Defense Ministry says that at least 230 Taliban were killed in Afghan forces operations in various parts of the country in the last 24 hours.
The Taliban has rejected the claim.