At least 20 security force members and 180 Talban fighters have been killed in a fresh spate of violence in Afghanistan over the past three days, the Ministry of Defense reported.
In the latest incident, at least nine security force members were killed in a Taliban attack in the Baghlan-e-Markazi district in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan. 16 soldiers were reportedly taken hostage by the Taliban.
Violence and heavy battles were also reported in Helmand, Zabul, Ghazni and Balkh provinces in the past 24 hours.
“There is no coordination between the local officials when it comes to launching offensive operations,” said Baghlan resident Mohammad Zarif.
Helmand province in the south has also witnessed deadly battles in the past few days.
“Lashkar will never collapse, you should be confident about it,” said Nazar Ali Wahidi, the deputy head of the NDS in Helmand.
Fighting also was reported in Faryab, Uruzgan, Farah, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces.
“Fighting has arrived at the suburbs of cities, many districts in northern provinces are under Taliban control,” said MP Sayed Zahir Masroor.
“We are not well-prepared to save the cities,” said MP Ahmad Eshchi.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense said that security forces have killed 180 Taliban fighters and wounded 87 more during recent battles in various parts of the country.
“Violence has significantly increased over the past three days compared to anytime in the past. In retaliation, the security and defense forces have inflicted devastating blows to the Taliban and inflicted heavy casualties on the Taliban,” said Fawad Aman, a deputy spokesman to the Ministry of Defense.
The Taliban has not accepted the casualties figures.
Afghan security officials have warned of ramped-up military offensives against the Taliban if the group does not stop fighting.