Fighting Intensifies in East With End of 3-Day Ceasefire

Government officials in the eastern part of the country say there have been heavy clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban for several days.

The officials added that after the 3-day Eid ceasefire, the Taliban and the security forces have started fighting in Khogyani, Shirzad, and Hesarak district in Nangarhar, and Dolat Shah and Ali Sheng districts in Laghman province, where the Taliban have suffered heavy casualties so far.

Nangarhar’s governor, Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail, says that Pakistani citizens, those from Khyber Agency and Mohmand Agency on the other side of the Durand Line, are along those killed in clashes, and their bodies have been left on the battlefields; but the Taliban has not commented on these claims.

“The Taliban has launched a campaign in Pakistani Madrassas (religious training centers) and ask the people to join them in their war against Afghanistan, to take over districts and outposts, saying that anything they find there (in outposts and districts) would be their property,” Nangarhar’s governor added.

Abdul Qayyum Hotak, police chief of Sorkhrud district in Nangarhar, said: ” Afghan security forces have launched a joint operation in Shirzad and Hesarak districts, which is progressing well.”

The head of the Nangarhar Provincial Council called on the central government to extend the ongoing operations in Hesarak and Shirzad districts.

Ahmad Ali Hazrat, head of the Nangarhar Provincial Council, said: “In the Khogyani, Hesarak, and Shirzad districts, 800 Pakistani fighters from the Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba groups are fighting on the frontlines alongside the Taliban against Afghan security forces.”

“Our diplomacy system is really imperfect. Every day we witness Pakistanis in the frontlines, their bodies being left on battlefields; we ask the Pakistan government about this, they summon our ambassador. Our diplomatic side needs to be empowered and the evidence (the presence of Pakistanis in the frontlines) should be used in our favor,” said a member of the Nangarhar Provincial Council, Naser Kamawal.