The Taliban over the last weekend mounted several attacks on provincial centres of Kandahar, Badakhshan, and Kunduz
The Taliban over the last weekend mounted several attacks on provincial centres of Kandahar, Badakhshan, and Kunduz. A total of 27 out of 34 provinces came under attack, the Afghan Ministry of Defence was quoted by Tolonews.
Meanwhile, in Kunduz province, a mortar shell fired by the Taliban hit the governor compound, killing four people there on Sunday. The New York Times, quoting provincial and local officials, reported, the attack in the governor’s compound might have done using a drone- a first of its kind in 19 years of war.
Rabbani Rabbani, a member of Kunduz provincial council, said there is a need for large-scale operations around Kunduz city as the Taliban has significant presence in the outskirt of the city.
The Aghan forces with the US air support are countering the Taliban offensive in the areas. Kandahar province, where the clashes have been going on since the last week, saw a rapid escalation in fighting in two districts, Zherai and Arghnadab, forcing civilians to flee the areas, Tolonews reported. Reports in local Afghan media stated that at least 74 Taliban fighters have been killed in airstrikes in Kandahar alone.
Lashkargar city in Helmand also witnessed heavy clashes as some soldiers in security checkposts abandoned their posts without any resistance, Ataullah Afghan, a member of Helmand provincial council, was quoted by Tolonews.
Rohullah Ahmadzai, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said, “The defense and security forces of Afghanistan have defended the attacks under the active defense status and have foiled dozens of plans by the enemy, inflicting heavy casualty to them.”
Describing the pattern of the Taliban’s offensive posture around cities, Andrew Watkins, a senior analyst on Afghanistan for Crisis Group, said in a tweet, “These (attacks) are early, initial steps in a now-classic pattern of encirclement of urban centres.”
Concerned over the recent escalation in fighting, the Afghan senate issued a statement asking the US government to remain committed to the security of Afghanistan as agreed upon in the joint declaration signed by the Afghan and the US government.