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Dozens Feared Dead as Taliban Fighters Attack Afghan Army Base in Balkh

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(Last Updated On: April 22, 2017)

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Dozens of Afghan national army personnel were killed or wounded on Friday afternoon when Taliban gunmen disguised in the army uniform attacked the 209 Shaheen Corps in Balkh province, sources said.

Afghan officials have provided conflicting numbers of casualties in the incident.

So far the Afghan defense ministry has confirmed the dead of eight soldiers and 11 others as wounded.

According to the reports the attack was launched near a mosque on the army base in Mazar-i-Sharif as soldiers were leaving Friday prayers.

Attackers in the two military vehicles have told guards at the gate that they were carrying wounded soldiers and urgently needed to enter.

After performing two suicide attacks, the rest of the attackers have launched a coordinated attack and fought with the Afghan security forces for more than five hours.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri, the Afghan defense ministry spokesperson confirmed that there were 10 attackers, seven of them were shot dead, two of them carried out suicide bombings and one was arrested alive.

Waziri also admits causalities to the Afghan forces, but so far has denied to provide the exact number of causalities sustained by Afghan national security forces.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement, the NATO command in Kabul condemned the attack and called it “murderous and reprehensible”.

“The attack on the 209th Corps today shows the barbaric nature of the Taliban. They killed soldiers at prayer in a mosque and others in a dining facility,” U.S. commander John Nicholson said in the statement.

The base is the headquarters for the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps, responsible for much of northern Afghanistan, including Kunduz province where there has been heavy fighting.

Balkh

Balkh residents welcome search campaign but unhappy about absence of policewomen

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(Last Updated On: August 29, 2022)

While Balkh residents have welcomed house-to-house searches for illegal weapons, some have raised concerns about the lack of policewomen involved in the operations.

This comes after security institutions in the province launched a 10-day house-to-house search campaign three days ago.

Despite mixed reaction from the public, many residents have said security will improve once weapons have been confiscated.

“We have no problem with this house-to-house effort. We are satisfied with the Islamic Emirate that they have conducted house-to-house searches,” said Ahmad, a resident of Balkh Province.

But others are unhappy about the absence of policewomen, saying male members of households are not always home.

“Women should be with them when they go door-to-door. Second, their time should be clear; those who are employed, their women are alone at home, women should be with them [the police], women should be searched by women and men should be searched by men,” said Rabi, another resident of Balkh province.

Activists in Balkh have said house-to-house searches should be based on law so as to prevent any harassment by police.

But the Balkh police say that the campaign has been launched at the request of the people and that the security forces will not violate people’s rights during the search operation.

“At the request of the people of Mazar-e-Sharif, the security forces decided to form a commission to conduct house-to-house searches in Mazar-e-Sharif through three security agencies,” said Asif Waziri, the spokesman of the Balkh Province Police Command.

The governor of Balkh, however, asks political opponents of the Islamic Emirate to return to the country.

“NATO and the US on its side, ISAF, were not able to make the mercenary system (republic government) strong or resist or defend themselves against the limited number of Mujahideen,” said Qudratullah Abu Hamza, the governor of Balkh.

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Balkh

Six wounded in explosion in Balkh province

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(Last Updated On: August 24, 2022)

Residents of Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, say that six people were injured in an explosion in the city on Wednesday morning.

Najibullah Tawana, head of public health for Balkh, said the six people who were injured have been taken to Balkh’s hospital.

Tawana reports that the wounded people are in stable condition, but said one victim lost his leg.

The explosion took place at around 11:30 on Wednesday morning in the Darwaz-e- Balkh area in PD4 of Mazar-e-Sharif.

However, Mohammad Asif Waziri, the spokesman for the security command for Balkh, said only one person was injured. He said the victim had been carrying the explosives at the time of the blast.

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Balkh

Balkh residents call on IEA to mark Nowruz festival

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(Last Updated On: March 18, 2022)

Residents of Balkh province on Thursday called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to maintain the tradition of celebrating the new solar year as has been done for years.

Residents said that Nowruz celebrations are a tradition for Afghans and should be celebrated peacefully across Afghanistan.

“The festival was celebrated every year, it should also be celebrated this year. Our grandparents celebrated it every year. I call on Islamic Emirate to celebrate the festival,” said Mohammad Mustafa, a resident of Balkh.

“We call on Islamic Emirate to celebrate the new year. Visitors come from far to participate in the Nowruz festival,” said Mohammad Karim, another resident of Balkh.

Mazar-e-Sharif municipality, however, said that they have made preparations for Nowruz which is on March 21.

“People come for tourism here, it is a green city. No problems will exist, but it will be different,” said Qudratullah Tariq, Mazar-e-Sharif’s mayor.

Cultural experts also called for Nowruz celebrations to go ahead.

However, with only four days to go to Nowruz, few preparations have been made to usher in the new year.

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