Troops deployed to Herat as clash goes on outside the city
A fresh group of Afghan forces has been deployed to Herat city as violence has surged across the country since early May when the US forces began pulling out of Afghanistan. Afghanistan Ministry of Defense has said that hundreds of Afghan Special Forces have been sent to Herat to suppress the Taliban militants who are clashing with Afghan forces and People Uprising Force under the command of a veteran Mujahidin leader, Ismail Khan.
The Taliban militants have advanced in Guzara district of the province. The militants were fighting in Pul e Malan and Pul e Pashtun areas of the district, something that has led to fear among people. They are calling on the government to push the Taliban out of their area.
The militants have control over 17 of 19 Herat districts.
On Saturday, Afghan troops and Taliban fighters clashed again on the outskirts of Herat. The fighting came a day after a police guard was killed when a United Nations compound in the western city came under attack.
The insurgents have seized scores of districts across Afghanistan, including in Herat province, where the group has also captured two border crossings adjoining Iran and Turkmenistan.
Local officials and residents reported renewed fighting on the outskirts of Herat on Saturday, with hundreds fleeing their homes to seek shelter closer to the heart of the city.
According to local officials, most of the fighting was in Injil and Guzara district — where the airport is located.
“At the moment the fighting is ongoing in the south and southeast. We are moving cautiously and to avoid civilian casualties,” Qani told AFP yesterday.
Meanwhile, late on Saturday evening, three rockets landed on Kandahar airport. The airport authorities blamed the Taliban for the attack but the insurgents have not made any comment in this regard so far. No causality is reported.
The Taliban insurgents launch sporadic attacks to gain more territory across the country. On Saturday morning the Taliban militants made advancement in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, but the local government called an airstrike near a hospital where the insurgents were forcing medical staff and doctors to treat wounded insurgents.
On Friday, the main Herat compound of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan came under attack from rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire that the UN blamed on anti-government elements.
The militants say they will not target foreign diplomats but have blatantly violated international protocol before.
With violence escalating across Afghanistan, civilian causality has seen a dramatic uproar. At least 66 civilians were killed and 198 others wounded by the Taliban militants over last week, Ajmal Omar Shinwari, a spokesperson for the Afghanistan security and defense forces said. Speaking at a news conference held today, August 01, in Kabul, Shinwari said the Taliban insurgents have destroyed nearly 10 houses and a number of public facilities. He claimed that 1,323 Taliban militants were killed and 770 others were wounded as the result of 221 operations conducted by security and defense forces over last week.