Taliban Test Afghan and U.S. Resolve in Talks by Attacking a City

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But late Monday, their official spokesman appeared to stroll a tight-line that appeared to recommend they have been holding again. The spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, stated the insurgents have been solely recapturing areas that have been as soon as beneath their management however that have been retaken by Afghan forces a number of months in the past.

The violence in Helmand was a part of a wider uptick in lethal assaults throughout Afghanistan focusing on districts and more and more choking the highways. In the previous 24 hours, the Taliban carried out assaults in 20 of the nation’s 34 provinces, based on Rohullah Ahmadzai, the spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry.

The insurgents made a robust push for Lashkar Gah from a number of instructions since Friday, following a few weeks of tightening the noose, officers stated.

Ataullah Afghan, the pinnacle of the provincial council, stated that the Taliban had overrun safety checkpoints within the suburbs of Babaji and Chahanjir and closed one of many fundamental roads main into the town, blowing up components of it. They additionally carried out assaults in Nawa, a district neighboring Lashkar Gah. The advances have been slowed by airstrikes and contemporary authorities forces that arrived Sunday night time, he stated.

“They have blocked most of the entrances and exits to the city,” stated Bashir Ahmad Shakir, a former member of the provincial council in Helmand. “The officials were in deep slumber. The military officials only realized it when the Taliban were almost stepping in to the gates of Lashkar Gah.”

Mr. Afghan, the pinnacle of the provincial council, attributed the protection failures to an issue that has plagued Afghan forces within the south for years: the presence of numerous “ghost soldiers” of their ranks.

“In Babaji and Chahanjir on paper there are 150 police, the salary of 150 police is paid, but only 50 police are present in the whole area, with each outpost getting no more than five or six police,” he stated. “We shared this problem with higher officials, with the interior minister, with the present of the country, but no action was taken. Now we see the result of those imaginary police.”

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