All flights were canceled at the Herat airport on the second day of clashes between government forces and the Taliban near the city of Herat in the west of Afghanistan on Friday, sources said.
Sources said that Taliban attacked a UN office in Herat and some outposts in the south of the city. Two security guards at the UN office were killed in the attack, sources from Herat said.
Dozens of families in the south of the city of Herat left their houses as clashes intensified there on Friday.
“People have left their houses… Taliban and other terrorist groups should realize that today’s Afghanistan is not the one it was 20 years ago,” said Abdul Qayum Rezaee, a Herat resident.
“Taliban should agree on peace if they are Muslims,” said Wali Mohammad, a Herat resident.
One of the frontlines was on the two sides of Malan Bridge in the south of the city.
Najibullah, an army soldier, said he is fighting against the Taliban on the frontline for the last two days. He said Taliban have stationed in people’s houses and that this impedes progress in their operations.
“Taliban are using people’s houses as a shield. We have not started our operation against the Taliban to avoid harm to civilians,” Najibullah said.
“We are not making progress to avoid harm to civilians. Taliban are attacking us using people’s houses and mosques,” said Mohammad Ismail, an army officer in Herat.
The public resistance force led by former mujahedeen leader and Jamiat-e-Islami’s senior member Mohammad Ismail Khan are also fighting against the Taliban in support of the Afghan forces.
“The enemy had an attack and we pushed their attack by imposing casualties to them. We saw some Taliban bodies and they were Pakistanis,” said Mohammad Amiri, a member of public resistance force.
“We are defending the country and the honor of the country. Our jihad against the Taliban will continue,” said Sayed Ahmad, a public resistance force member.
The government and the Taliban claim to have inflicted casualties on each other in Herat clashes, but no details are available in this respect.
UN on Friday evening confirmed the attack on its office in Herat and condemned it “in the strongest terms possible.”