Clashes Continue in South as MoD Deploys More Forces

Clashes between the Afghan forces and the Taliban are underway in the southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul for the last month as the group has intensified its attacks despite ongoing efforts for peace to end the four decades of war in the country.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement on Sunday said that more forces were deployed to Kandahar.

The Taliban offensives started in Helmand and continued to the outskirts of Lashkargah, the center of the province. They continued their attacks to three districts in Kandahar, and then to Zabul and Uruzgan.

But the Afghan forces on Friday cleared Kandahar’s Arghandab district of the Taliban, according to the Defense Ministry. The district is a strategic region in Kandahar as experts describe it.

“They (the Taliban) think that it (Arghandab) is the main hub for them and a place from where they could control here (Kandahar),” said Gen. Mohammad Yasin Zia, the chief of army staff.

“Now, our fight is against mines. The fight against the enemy has ended,” said Sarbuland Abdul Rahimzai, an army officer.

The clashes in Arghandab have displaced many families. It has also damaged people’s houses, according to some residents.

“The pomegranates farms have been damaged. I saw families and women running. Their areas were attacked by bombs,” said Agha Sherin, a resident of Arghandab.

“Some people have been martyred. There was a house in this area that was hit by an airstrike,” said Mohammad Isa, a resident of Arghandab.

The mission against the Taliban in the south is led by the Afghan army chief Gen. Zia. The clashes in Helmand have reduced and the Afghan forces have cleared Arghandab, but the fight continues in Panjwai and Zherai districts in Kandahar, and Gezab and Dehrawood districts in Uruzgan.