40 killed in 24 hours as fight between Afghan forces, Taliban intensifies
Afghanistan is witnessing heavy clashes as the war between Taliban and Afghanistan's government forces is intensifying following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country.
Over the last few weeks, the Taliban have captured several districts in Afghanistan including Takhar, the country's northeastern province.
According to latest figures released by Afghan watchers (till August 3), the Taliban controls 140 provinces, with 151 contested and the government holding 131.
Heavy clashes are taking place between Afghanistan forces and the Taliban in several Afghan cities. As many as 28 incidents have taken place in the last 24 hours, according to Afghan watchers.
At least 40 civilians have been killed and more than 100 injured in the said time period in fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in Lashkar Gah, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Matiullah Khan, the police chief of Nawzad district of Helmand was among those killed in Lashkar Gah and Imdadullah, an advisor of Nangarhar provincial council who worked with US special forces was eliminated in Jalalabad, said Afghan watchers.
Afghan forces battled the Taliban in Lashkar Gah as the fighting intensified in the city in southern Helmand province and the frontline was in District 1 where the US conducted an airstrike on Monday morning.
Minister of foreign affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar and UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons on Tuesday discussed violation of human rights by Taliban in the country.
Atmar expressed concern over the escalation of Taliban attacks on populated cities and centres including capital Kabul, local news channels reported, adding that he appealed the United Nations and the international community to pressure the Taliban against increasing offensives in the country.
Atmar named Pakistan-based terror groups and other terror organisations supporting the Taliban. "Minister Atmar noted that the Taliban attacks were carried out in direct collusion with more than 10,000 regional terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ansarullah, Jundallah, al-Qaeda, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)," Afghan foreign ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the public support is rising for Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), which is fighting the Taliban. In Herat, where United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) office was attacked, people raised slogans in favour of the security forces. Reports from local media say that there is no electricity in Herat since the past six days.