Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, January 18th, 2020

Afghan Forces Hold ‘Full Control’ of Key Highway in Southeast

Afghan Forces Hold ‘Full Control’  of Key Highway in Southeast

KABUL - A strategic highway linking Khost with Paktia province in the southwest of Afghanistan is fully under control of the Afghan forces over the past year while it was under influence of the Taliban and Haqqani network for five years.
The road, almost 50 kilometers in length, connects Zazi Maidan district of Khost with Dand Aw Patan district of Paktia.
Security forces are now able to travel by one vehicle through the graveled road, which is mostly rough terrains and has only one lane. 
Dand Aw Patan is a district in Paktia which borders the Kurram tribal region of Pakistan. Zazi Maidan or Jaji Maidan is located in the northeastern part of Khost. It borders Bak district to the west, Paktia province to the north, and the Kurram Agency of Pakistan to the north and east. The district center is the village of Zazi Maidan, situated in the eastern part of the district.
TOLOnews reporters Tamim Hamid and Abdul Haq Omeri traveled with an Army vehicle to the highway where they met many Army soldiers who said the highway is under their control.
Noor Mohammad, 38, who serves in the Afghan National Army ranks in Dand Aw Patan district, said he lost one of his comrades in operation for clearing the highway of militants last year.
“He had a marvelous personality and was a talented boy. May the Almighty Allah forgive him. He lost his life just in this war front,” said Noor Mohammad, remembering his friend who was killed in an operation against the Taliban.
Mohammad’s friend, Noorullah, an Army soldier, said that he has not seen his family for a long time.
“My family and the children are missing me. I miss them too,” said Noorullah.
“They (Taliban) are preparing from now on and they place mines in some areas. Their preparations will increase as the weather is warming,” said Zakaria, 29, an Army soldier in Khost.
Every soldier in the area has their own stories.
“I still have six or seven months to return home and get married. If peace comes, I will do it soon and I will not waste the time,” said Baz Mohammad, another soldier.
The Nahri area, which is the connecting point between Khost and Paktia provinces, was the last stop of the forces. A year ago, they had had to fight the Taliban to get to the area but now they reach there in a few hours of drive. (Tolo news)