Two Districts Fall as Battles Continue Near 10 Cities

Sources report the fall of two districts in Ghor province to the Taliban along with battles on the outskirts of at least 10 cities in Afghanistan.

The cities include Pul-e-Khumri in Baghlan, Taluqan in Takhar, Qala-e-Naw in Badghis, Sheberghan in Jawzjan, Maidan Shahr in Maidan Wardak, Ghazni city in Ghazni, Kandahar city in Kandahar and Lashkargah in Helmand province.

Sources said that Taiwara and Pasaband districts in Ghor have fallen to the Taliban in the last 24 hours.

“We ask the government to implement a proper plan for suppressing the Taliban,” said Hasan Hakimi, a civil society activist in Ghor.

The Defense Ministry said that at least 200 Taliban fighters were killed and over 200 others were wounded in clashes in the last 24 hours. The Taliban has rejected these figures.

In Takhar, a former mujahideen commander and a commander of public uprising forces, Gen. Gul Agha Qataghani, was killed in a clash with the Taliban on Friday.

“Our champion security and defense forces and the public uprising forces succeeded in resisting all of their attacks,” Takhar governor Abdullah Qarloq said.

“Our clearance operations are underway on the outskirts of (Ghazni) city and a massive blow has been imposed on the enemy. The enemy is scattering and will never be able to take over Ghazni city,” the 203 Thunder Corps’ 3rd Regiment Commander Gen. Shir Mohammad Andiwal said.

Over the last 24 hours, 16 bodies and 57 wounded people have been taken to hospitals in the city of Kandahar due to clashes, health officials from the province said.

“42 of them are civilians and 15 are security force members. At least 16 bodies have been brought in the last 24 hours,” said Dr. Daud Farhad, head of the Kandahar zone hospital.

A car bomb targeted a facility owned by the Afghan army’s 215 corps in Dilaram city, the center of Nimroz province on Sunday with 15 security force members either killed or wounded, said sources.

“Large-scale attacks have been launched (on Nimroz’s capital) and many of our security forces have been martyred,” said Mohammad Faisal, a civil society activist in Nimroz.

“The suicide car bomber was neutralized by your security forces. It could not reach its target. It was destroyed before reaching its target,” said Gen. Ajmal Omar Shinwari, spokesman for Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, referring to the car bomb attack that was followed by multiple assaults by the Taliban on the city of Dilaram.

This comes as Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar in an interview with Foreign Policy said that recent violence by the Taliban has killed over 3,500 people, 30% of them civilians.

He warned that Afghanistan will move toward an endless war if peace is not achieved.