Afghan forces clear key highway of Taliban checkpoints

Afghan special forces cleared a key highway that links Baghlan province to northern Balkh of Taliban checkpoints

Jan 11, 2021
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Afghan special forces cleared a key highway that links Baghlan province to northern Balkh of Taliban checkpoints. The operation, named Highway No 1, was launched last week after the insurgents had set up multiple checkpoints on the route.

TOLOnews reported the Taliban was extracting millions of afghanis - the local currency - on a daily basis from truckers.

“Over the last two days, we had successful operations in ‘Highway No. 1’ as well as in Kelagai area (in Baghlan). The enemy’s outposts have been removed and at least 17 of them have been killed,” Mohammad Ali Yazdani, a commander of special forces, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews.

The commander also said that their forces will continue these operations and won’t let enemies exploit traders and people. Earlier traders had complained the Taliban checkpoints were hampering their businesses.

Feroz, a Baghlan resident, said, “Their 'customs' of Afs 15,000 to Afs20,000 from every vehicle had negatively impacted the prices (of goods).”  
The Taliban which controls almost 50 percent area in Afghanistan has set up multiple checkpoints since the signing of the US-Taliban deal on 29 February last year. Under the agreement, the US and NATO forces stopped their offensive airstrikes on the insurgent.

The reduced air operations by the coalition forces allowed the Taliban to set up more checkpoints on Highways around the country.

In a similar operation, Afghan forces earlier removed several Taliban checkpoints on the Jalalabad-Khost highway.

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