The Taliban has intensified attacks on Ghazni city and Kandahar city, both provincial capitals, in the last 10 days, raising concerns among some MPs and residents who warn that the provincial centers will fall to the Taliban if the government does not focus efforts to push back the attacks.
Multiple sources on Monday said that Kahmard district in Bamiyan and Garmsir district in Helmand have fallen to the Taliban in the last 24 hours. However, the Defense Ministry said that 271 Taliban fighters were killed in Afghan forces operations in the same period. The Taliban has rejected these figures.
Special forces units started an operation in Dand district and have pledged to retake the areas that have fallen to the Taliban.
“There isn’t any specific issue here. The enemy is very far from here,” said Mujahir Mohammad, a special forces member.
“The highway and the areas and districts that have been captured for propaganda reasons will be taken back soon,” said a special forces member.
According to officials and other sources, clashes are underway in districts 5, 6, 7, 13 and 15 in the city of Kandahar.
“The Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar is full of martyrs and the wounded,” Kandahar resident Sediqullah said.
“The situation is very bad. People have been displaced from their homes,” said Kandahar resident Samiullah.
A lawmaker from Kandahar accused the government of not paying attention to the situation in the province.
“The fall of Kandahar means the fall of all Afghanistan. Favoritism in appointments in Kandahar has led to the fall of districts and now the fight has reached the city,” said Khalil Ahmad Mujahid, an MP from Kandahar.
Information from local sources indicates that clashes are underway between government forces and the Taliban in districts 2, 3 and 5 in the city of Ghazni.
“The recent rise in insecurity is restricting the government’s control every day,” Ghazni resident Sabir said.
“The clashes have reached the city of Ghazni and we have lost almost 50 percent of the city,” said the head of Ghazni’s provincial council Nasir Ahmad Faqiri.
However, the government pledged that the Taliban attacks will be pushed back.
“If you think that you will continue this war for another 20 years--if you do this, another foreign force will come to the country,” presidential adviser Ibrahim Alokozai said.