Taliban attacks provincial centers; thousands displaced in Helmand

Helmand, a southern province in Afghanistan, has been witnessing heavy clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces as the former pushed forward to capture the strategically important Lashkargah City, the provincial capital of Helmand, reported TOLOnews

May 06, 2021
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Taliban militants (File)

Helmand, a southern province in Afghanistan, has been witnessing heavy clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces as the former pushed forward to capture the strategically important Lashkargah City, the provincial capital of Helmand, reported TOLOnews. 

Reports suggested civilians in thousands fled their homes as fighting intensified in the last two days. Other areas in Balkh and Badakhshan provinces also came under attack through a coordinated offensive by the group. 

The renewed offensive by the Taliban in Helmand came amid the US and NATO troops’ withdrawal. However, the Voice of American (VOA) news confirmed, citing sources in the US, that US forces on Wednesday conducted several airstrikes in Helmand province in support of the Afghan forces. 

Civilians in the areas remain badly affected. Reports also indicated the insurgent group was using homes in mounting attacks against security forces. 

“Women and children are in a miserable condition, the Taliban were deployed inside homes, they are still there,” Sadiqullah, a resident of Lashkargah city, who fled the area, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews. “We only managed to take one bag and we left behind our other belongings.”

Reports indicated around 20 members of Afghan security have been killed in the fighting and over 180 Taliban militants were also killed. 

This is not the first time the provincial capital of Helmand came under heavy attacks. The Taliban had tried to capture Lashkargah city last year also, which then led the US forces to bomb their positions (SAM). 

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