Two commanders of the anti-Taliban movement, the National Resistance Front (NRF), have been killed in Badakhshan amid an ongoing offensive by the Taliban in the north-eastern province over the past eight days.
In this offensive, the Taliban has targeted NRF outposts in Raghistan and Yaftal districts as well as in the Shiwa area on the outskirts of Faizabad city, the capital of Badakhshan.
Sources close to the Taliban said this offensive is much stronger than those in the past.
The Taliban’s newly-appointed governor of Badakhshan, Amanuddin Mansour, is leading the fight against the NRF, two sources said.
The resistance front forces were led by two key commanders, Sayyed Bahruddin and Hamidullah Mujahid, both of whom were killed.
Mohsen, a resident of Yaftal district, told Amu that the clashes in Raghistan and Shiwa have intensified over the last two days.
He said that at least 16 Taliban members have been killed in the clashes. He added that Commander Bahruddin who led the clashes was arrested and killed by the Taliban along with five other members of the movement.
Who was Commander Bahruddin?
Bahruddin was an aide to the former president and mujahedeen leader Burhanuddin Rabbani and a Jamiat-e-Islami member during the first period of resistance in late 1990s, his relatives said.
During the republic government, he played a role in the security departments. He joined the resistance front a few months after the fall of the former government.
Bahruddin was 52 years old.
“Commander Sayyed Bahruddin Yaftali was a famous commander of the Jihad and resistance period and a current member of the resistance front in Badakhshan province, who was killed after being captured by the Taliban,” a source from NRF said.
NRF spokesman Sebghat Ahmadi in a tweet also confirmed the death of the two commanders.
“In these clashes, a number of the bravest, most honest and best sons of this country, including the noble, faithful and famous commander of the Pamir region Sayyed Bahruddin Agha, have reached the high level of martyrdom,” he said.
Local residents said telecom services have been disconnected in conflict-hit areas.
“The Taliban attacked the resistance front’s outposts with a large force for several days, and in yesterday’s war, 36 members of the Mujahideen resistance forces, including Hamidullah were killed,” said Nematullah, a Badakhshan resident.
He added that at least 20 Taliban members were also killed in the clashes.
He said that Hamidullah Mujahid, who recently left the Taliban and joined the NRF, was killed in a clash on Friday.
“He and eight of his armed men were killed when they were on the way back to the mountains in Shiwa area,” he said.
Who was Hamidullah Mujahid?
Hamidullah Mujahid was a resident of Yaftal district. He completed his studies in religious schools in Pakistan.
After four years, he came back to his hometown and joined the ranks of the former security forces during Hamid Karzai’s government, his relatives said.
Until the end of the first year of Ashraf Ghani’s presidency, he served in the ranks of the National Army in the logistic and supply department in Badakhshan.
He left the security forces for unknown reasons and joined the Taliban. He had been in the ranks of the Taliban for three to four years, and recently, after being dismissed from duty, he separated from their ranks and had been fighting the Taliban in the mountains of his home province, a source said.
Taliban has not commented on the clashes.