Offensives mounted by Afghan forces have intensified in the west of the country, the senior deputy minister of interior, Lt. Gen. Abdul Saboor Qane, said on Wednesday, amid an increase in Taliban attacks in many provinces.
The deputy minister, who visited Herat on Wednesday, said the government forces' operations are being launched in insecure areas in the west.
The Afghan forces operations against the Taliban were resumed last week following an order from President Ghani to switch from "active defense" to "offense" mode. A rise in violence generally by the militant group, and two attacks with high civilian casualties in Kabul and Nangarhar, led Ghani to order the new military posture.
Speaking of the new “offense" mode", Lt. Gen Qane said: "We want to show it in practice, based on the issued order, that our forces have switched to offense mode instead of defensive,” Qane said.
Herat residents, meanwhile, called on the warring sides to agree to a ceasefire during the Eid days.
“Our demand from the Taliban is to stop killing during Eid days,” said Safiullah Yaran, a Herat resident.
“We call on the Taliban to join the peace process,” said Omid Iman, a Herat resident.
Activists in the province called on the international community to put pressure on the warring sides to end violence.
“Public places like health centers, education centers and religious centers should not be targeted,” said Ghulam Farooq Rasib, a civil society activist.