Civilians take up arms against Afghan Taliban

Kabul, Oct 17 (IANS) Hundreds of Afghan civilians took up arms to defend the government against Taliban militants in the northern Jauzjan province on Monday, an official said.

“Hundreds of people from across the province gathered in Aqcha district this morning and voiced their support to the government in the war against armed oppositions including Taliban rebels,” Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying.

Without giving an exact number, the official said: “Probably some 900 or so have bought arms and ammunitions with their own money.” They vowed to defend government forces against Taliban and other insurgent groups.

“Jauzjan’s Governor Lutfullah Azizi has welcomed the villagers for expressing support to the government and vowed to provide any possible means to them in their mission,” the official added.

The move comes when Afghan First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum has been leading the war against Taliban in the neighbouring Faryab province over the past couple of days.

Taliban militants who are active in parts of the northern Jauzjan province are yet to make comment.