Foreign fighters are backing the Taliban in the ongoing attacks in Helmand, the provincial governor Yasin Khan said on Thursday as violence in the southern province continues into its sixth day.
Yasin Khan said that foreign fighters associated with Al Qaeda, and Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba are supporting the Taliban in the battle.
He said that the Taliban has provided safe havens to the fighters associated with Al Qaeda, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, stating that these terrorist organizations are providing military and bomb-making training to the Taliban fighters.
But the Taliban spokesman has rejected the claims.
“There is the presence of Al Qaeda, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and terrorists from Central Asia, they collaborated with the Taliban now and in the past,” said Yasin Khan.
Reports indicate that the fighting in Helmand has done significant damage to public infrastructure.
“Whether it is the Taliban or someone else, no one has the right to inflict damage on public assets,” said Saifullah, a civil society activist in Helmand.
“All warring factions should ensure the safety of public assets,” said Noor Agha, a civil society activist in Helmand.
The Taliban launched a massive offensive on Lashkargah city six days ago.
The Taliban also attacked parts of Nawa, Nahr-e-Saraj, Nad-e-Ali districts.
During the offensive, the group fighters managed to take over some check points.
Afghan security officials have said that the security forces will soon take back the checkpoints fallen to the Taliban.