ANSF Preparing To Launch Offensive to Retake Janikheil District

Monday, August 29, 2016
Kabul (BNA) Afghan security forces are preparing to launch an operation to retake an eastern border district a day after it fell to the Taliban, officials said Sunday. The Islamist insurgency overran and captured Janikheil district in the eastern Paktia province on Saturday, and local authorities confirmed that dozens of Afghan forces were killed in the fighting. A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, Dawlat Waziri, told Sunday “enough” forces are in the area under the leadership of the regional crops commander and preparing to stage a counter-offensive to take back Janikhil.
“It is not difficult to retake the district from the Taliban but security forces are moving carefully because the insurgents have heavily mined roads in the area,” Waziri noted, adding teams of experts are currently engaged in clearing the explosives. District governor Abdul Rahman Solamal said a prolonged presence of the Taliban in Janikheil would improve its mobility to threaten security in neighboring provinces. He blamed provincial authorities and security institutions for failing to take timely steps to prevent the collapse of the district, saying it had been under Taliban siege for about a month, causing severe shortages of food and weapons for the security forces.

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