Heavy clashes reported between NRF, Taliban in Badakhshan 

National resistance front (NRF) forces in Panjshir, Afghanistan. File photo.

Heavy clashes have happened between the resistance front (NRF) forces and the Taliban in various parts of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan over the past week, leaving casualties on both sides.

Two sources said that the clashes have happened in Raghistan and Maimay districts and three areas in Faizabad city, the center of the province.

Fighting is underway in some areas, sources said on Sunday. 

The clashes have happened in at least three villages on the outskirts of Faizabad, the center of Badakhshan, including Shiwa, Yaftal-e-Bala and Palang Dara.

Sources confirmed that at least 16 Taliban members and four NRF members were killed in the clashes. 

“A clearance operation is underway,” said Moezuddin Ahmadi, head of the Taliban for the information and culture directorate, but rejected the casualties.

A source said that Qari Abdul Rahman, a Taliban commander, is among four others wounded in Badakhshan fighting.

According to sources, at least 10 NRF members were taken captive by the Taliban.

A resident of Maimay district said that the Taliban has deployed dozens of forces by two helicopters in the district in the last few days as clashes have intensified.

The Taliban members in Maimay and four other districts are led by its commander, Mullah Juma, the resident said.

A splintered commander

Abdul Hameed Mujahid, a Taliban commander in Badakhshan, who led a unit of the group in the province, parted ways with the group along with over 100 of his personnel a week ago, two sources said.

Mujahid was loyal to Mawlawi Safiullah, head of the Taliban’s police command in Baghlan. Once he worked at the crime investigation department in Badakhshan, but parted ways over rifts with the Taliban, according to sources.

He was recently removed from his post at Badakhshan police command, which sources say is the main reason for his decision to split from the group.

Back in July, another Taliban commander, Qari Waqas, parted his ways with the group in Tagab district in Badakhshan.