Heavy Clashes Still Ongoing in Herat City

Heavy clashes that began in Herat city eight days ago are still ongoing in the southern parts of the city, local officials said on Wednesday.

Afghan security forces operations are occurring in the villages in the southern parts of the city, the security officials said, adding that the “Taliban has been pushed back from the city.”

“The operations are ongoing but slowly, as the Taliban are hidden in residential areas,” according to the officials.

Two public resistance force members were killed and 15 others–including three civilians–were wounded in the past 24 hours, according to officials at Herat hospital.

A commander of the 207 Zafar Military Corps named Gulzar said: “There has been fighting in Ghaibatan and Hawad villages over the past three days. Ten Taliban fighters were killed yesterday, and their bodies have been moved by the people.”

Mohammad Ismail Khan, former mujahedeen leader who is now leading the fight against the Taliban in Herat along with scores of public resistance forces, said that “the war in Herat city is being led by Pakistan.”

He urged the residents of Herat city to rise up against the “clear aggression” of Pakistan, saying: “I want to make it clear that the war in Herat is a war between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

“This is not the Taliban’s war and the Taliban is a tool. Just as the Afghan people did not accept the dominance of the United States, Russia and other superpowers, they should not accept Pakistani dominance either.”

A number of security force members who are battling the Taliban on the frontlines pledged to not allow the Taliban to enter the city.

“The enemy tried hard to enter the city of Herat these days, but we will not allow them to enter the city as long as we still have a drop of blood,” said Mohamamd Nasir, a police officer.

A soldier in the Afghan Army Balal Ahmad said: “The Taliban had advanced but we pushed them back and they will never take the city of Herat.”

Hundreds of families have been displaced during the fighting over the past eight days.

“The Taliban come to our area but when the security forces come, they run away. People are in a lot of trouble because of the war,” said Abdul Qayoum, a resident of Herat.

Officials claimed that 30 Taliban were killed in the past 24 hours of fighting, however, the Taliban has not yet commented on their casualties in the clashes.