Afghans on Tuesday expressed deep concern over what they described as a dramatic surge in security threats on the country’s main highways connecting Afghanistan’s capital Kabul to other provinces.
Travelers on these highways have said that no highway is currently secure from threats.
This comes as Afghan security forces are making attempts to repel threats against highways in the north and northeastern parts of the country.
The highway connecting Kabul to Logar and Paktia provinces is one of the highways where threats have significantly increased over the past weeks.
“The war constantly prevails there, they (insurgents) launch attacks on the security forces on the highway,” said Sayed Sherzai, a driver in Kabul-Logar highway.
“We face three or four security incidents on the way to Gardez. There is war,” said Mir Afghan, a passenger from Paktia.
“There are problems inside the city, you can't imagine the scale of problems outside the city and on the outskirts,” said Naqibullah, a resident in Paktia.
Meanwhile, in the northern parts of the country, people have said that they frequently face threats on the highways.
“They (insurgents) appeared on the way and shot all the security personnel, they (insurgents) have established checkpoints and are searching the people,” said Farhad, a resident in the northern part of Kabul.
“Attacks have significantly increased in the past month, casualties have been high among the army and the Taliban,” said Parwaiz, a resident of Shakar Dara district in northern Kabul.
Baghlan-Kunduz highway faces the same situation.
“The road is blocked, they said that the Taliban has exploded the road with mines, some other people say that they (Taliban) have established their customs there on the road,” said Enayatullah, a driver on Kunduz-Baghlan highway.
“That is a short distance, they say that the government is unable to tackle it. If there is a government, why can't it show its power?” said Naqibullah, a driver on the Kabul-Baghlan highway.
Footage shows that the Afghan security forces had a fierce battle with the Taliban on the Pul-e-Khumri--Samangan highway on Tuesday after the insurgents tried to block the road.
“Dead bodies of some of their group commanders were left on the battlefield, our special units also seized one Barrett M82 which is a powerful weapon,” said Ahmad Jawed Besharat, a spokesman for the Baghlan police headquarters.
The Kabul-Jalalabad highway, which was once among the most secure highways, is also facing the same situation.
“They (insurgents) wanted to attack our convoys, fortunately we detected their plan through our intelligence and reconnaissance agencies,” said Abdul Wali Qalandar, the commander of the Border Force on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway.
In the south, the Kabul-Kandahar highway is also among the deadliest routes where Afghan forces and the Taliban frequently engage in heavy fighting. The past government made pledges to secure the key highway connecting Kabul to the south, but no progress has been made.