Herat in Afghanistan is under pressure from ongoing Taliban attacks | International News Taliban News

Kabul, Afghanistan – On Saturday, fierce fighting in Herat province in western Afghanistan continued for the third day as the Taliban continued to attack the province’s capital of the same name, home to hundreds of thousands of people.

Residents worry that this group of people may enter Herat, the country’s third largest city, at any time.

exist FridayThe road to Khwaja Abdullah Ansari International Airport, 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles) from the city, was the site of fierce fighting between the Afghan National Security Forces and the Taliban.

These battles resulted in the death of a local military commander captured by the Taliban, and an Afghan security guard died outside the UN compound near the airport.

Although the security forces were able to retake the airport road on Saturday afternoon, the residents remained in a state of tension.

According to sources in Herat, cars full of women and children can be seen driving from the Pol-e Pashto and Pol-e Malan areas to the provincial capital.

These two places are less than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the city. Security sources said the Taliban wanted to use two bridges in the area to carry out a tripartite attack.

A government official told Al Jazeera that the Afghan army has used air strikes to defend Herat, and the United States, which is preparing to withdraw all its troops by the end of August, is “closely watching” the situation in the province.

Moussa is a member of a local volunteer fighter group known as “The Uprising Force” In the province, he told Al Jazeera that Saturday’s fighting had not subsided and people still felt fear, even in the city.

“The Taliban continue to assassinate and fire grenades,” he said, making people afraid to walk around the city that is considered one of the economic and cultural centers of Afghanistan. Other residents said that several markets in the city are still closed because many people are afraid to go out.

“Due to the’internal’ terror, the situation is very difficult now,” Moussa said when mentioning that Taliban supporters were providing information about the organization from within the city.

In Herat’s latest battle, the Taliban are also trying to get closer to the city Kandahar And Lashkar Gah in the south.

In early May, as foreign troops headed by the United States began their final retreat, the Taliban launched a full-scale offensive in Afghanistan.

For many Afghans, the Taliban’s efforts to control some of the country’s largest cities have Political settlement Up to 20 years of conflict.

‘worse and worse’

For the residents of Herat, as the Taliban continue to occupy areas near the city, there have been clear warning signs of intensified fighting in recent weeks.

Local businessman Shoaib Khan told Al Jazeera that he and his family left the city for Kabul. Eid Mubarak holiday Early July.

“Even then, we can see the situation getting worse,” he said.

Khan’s family business in Herat was largely unattended for the past two weeks.

“When we want to check our business, we can’t because the airport is closed,” Khan said. Traveling by road to Herat requires more than 14 hours of driving along the road, which will make it easy for them to be intercepted at any number of Taliban checkpoints.

The Afghan National Security Forces and local insurgent troops were sent to the area near Herat Airport to prevent the Taliban from reaching the provincial capital [Mohammad Aref Karimi/Al Jazeera]

Combatant Musa said that the insurgents and the army and the police are fighting bravely, but the number of Taliban fighters is “incredible”.

Ministry of Defense claims many Taliban killed in Herat in the past two days.

Moussa agreed, saying that the number of Taliban killed in Herat far exceeded the number of government troops killed in the fighting. Despite this, Moussa said he was surprised by the number of Taliban fighters in the province.

“They are like ants. As long as you kill them, more will appear.”

Government officials told Al Jazeera that the Taliban may currently have as many as 1,000 fighters in Herat. The images shared by the insurgents on the Internet claimed to show many bodies belonging to the Taliban; however, these images could not be verified.

Insurgent troops and residents in Herat told Al Jazeera that the Taliban were accused of requisitioning houses on the outskirts of the city to carry out attacks. Last week, residents of Kandahar made similar statements to Al Jazeera about the fighting near their city.

“The entry of the Taliban into people’s houses makes it more difficult for us, and we have to be more careful,” a member of the security forces told Al Jazeera.

The insurgent forces led by the former anti-Soviet commander Ismail Khan have been fighting with the security forces for several weeks, but they say they have not received the support promised by the Kabul government.

Khan said he spoke On Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (Ashraf Ghani). According to Khan, Ghani promised to send reinforcements, but Saturday Khan said the aid has not yet arrived.

The Ministry of Defense did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for clarification on Khan’s statement.

But Moussa said Khan’s criticism was correct.

Moussa said: “The fighting has been three days and nights, but the insurgents still have not received the weapons and ammunition they need.”

Khan’s appearance on the battlefield triggered a fierce war of words on the Internet.

Many people have promoted the former governor, he has always been defendant Past abuse and corruption, because he was willing to defend the city even in his seventies.

Other online accounts that appeared to belong to Taliban supporters claimed that as the fighting intensified, Khan was trying to flee to Kabul.

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