Residents and members of the provincial council in Paktia, a province in eastern Afghanistan, on Wednesday reported that the Taliban has blocked a number of key highways connecting the center of the province to some districts including Zurmat and Zazai Aryoub.
The public is not able to travel to their home areas and supply routes for security forces have been cut off, residents said.
Security forces in Paktia said operations will soon be launched to reopen the routes.
“The ordinary people are facing lots of problems in their movements, they cannot go to the bazaar or consult a hospital,” said Samiullah Afghan, a resident of Zurmat district in Paktia. “There are patients in people’s homes, the people in Zurmat want the government to take swift action and reopen the routes,” he said.
“If Zurmat district falls it will have a major impact on the security in both provinces, either Paktia or Paktika,” said a resident.
Local officials said that if the present situation continues, security will worsen in neighboring provinces including Ghazni and Paktika.
“Road closures have a significant impact, including social and economic consequences, and also a political impact,” said Jannat Khan Samkanai, the secretary of Paktia's provincial council.
“We call on the government to reopen the way as soon as possible and to ensure the delivery of services to the people,” said Mohammadu-rahman Qaderi, a member of the Paktia provincial council.
“We have launched a joint clearance operation between the national army, NDS and national police. The operations will cover both sides of the highway around Gardiz and Zurmat. God willing, the entire highway will be cleared very soon,” said Nisar Ahmad Wardak, the head of Paktia's security department.