Residents of Chahar Bolak district, in the northern province of Balkh, on Tuesday called on the warring sides to end the war, saying dozens of families in the area have fled their homes as clashes between the government forces and the Taliban rages on.
They said that homes were destroyed during recent waves of clashes between the two sides and that farmers in the area are not able to work in their fields.
Meanwhile, some residents of Chahar Bolak gathered in front of the provincial council in Mazar-e-Sharif city to protest against the conditions in their area.
“They are not allowing us to work, our crops are spoiling, the irrigation water is being wasted--we can’t come out of our homes,” said Mohammad Ibrahim, a resident of Chahar Bolak.
The residents said that the warring sides are using heavy weaponry, which also impacts the local people.
Residents of Chahar Bolak said that if the current situations continue, many families will leave their homes.
“Checkpoints in the Gortepa area are causing problems for the people. There are even restrictions on the people under normal situations. This issue impacts their work and fields (agricultural lands),” said Nawab Khan, a resident of Balkh.
But security sources have rejected the claims that civilian homes were damaged in the fighting.
“Thereare measures taken by the security forces to ensure that civilians are not harmed, I must say that these people who have gathered here, their move looks like a charade, maybe they have been put up to it by the Taliban,” said Mohammad Hanif Rezayee, a spokesman for the 209 Shaheen Army Corps.
Chimtal, Balkh, Dawlatabad, Sholgarah, Charkint and Zari and Balkh are among the districts in the province that have seen unprecedented violence in recent months