At least 27,000 people have been displaced after recent clashes between the Taliban and an Afghan commander in the Sar-e-Pol district of northern Afghanistan. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported this day.
According to local sources, the fighting began two weeks ago between Taliban forces and disgruntled commander Mahdi Mujahid, who was recently dismissed from the post of intelligence chief in Bamyan province in central Afghanistan. Mujahid belongs to the Hazara, an ethnic minority in Afghanistan. After his resignation, Mujahid and his militia refused to accept the orders and returned home.
Videos on social media show a large Taliban convoy heading towards the area. Other videos show dozens of displaced families fleeing to mountainous areas. The women in the videos witness how they lost their children and lacked clothes, food or medicine.
Possible civilian deaths
“Our partners are preparing to provide food and other resources to more than 10,000 people in Balkhab,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. Families fled to neighboring provinces in the north and to Bamiyan province in the central highlands. Unconfirmed reports indicate that dozens of civilians were killed by the Taliban in the fighting.
Maulvi Siddiq, the Taliban police chief in Bamiyan, told DPA on Wednesday that the displaced have since returned to their homes. Mujahid was the only Hazara leader in the Taliban ranks. Last month, Mujahid asked the Taliban to strengthen the Hazara position in the government. During the first Taliban regime in the 1990s, Hazaras risked persecution for their faith.
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