Residents in the Afghan province of Maidan Wardak on Friday expressed deep concerns over a dramatic surge in the level of violence in their areas, saying Taliban groups have significantly increased their presence in the area and are frequently engaging in deadly battles with the Afghan security forces.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the Taliban took at least seven security force members hostage two days ago from Deh Afghanan, a vicinity near Maidan Shar, the center of Maidan Wardak.
“There is no sign of peace, they just shoot and don’t care about anyone,” said Hamid, a resident in Sayedabad district, referring to the battles between the Afghan forces and the Taliban.
“Every corner is under siege, the Taliban move forward day-by-day, the province is on the verge of collapse. Every day there is a war going on, every day they bring 20 to 30 dead bodies here,” said Mohammad Nazeer, a resident of Maidan Shar. But he didn’t mention whose side the dead bodies belong to.
“Fighting goes on throughout the whole night. The people are being killed, the defenseless people are killed,” said Abdullah Khan, a resident in Maidan Wardak.
Under the US-Taliban peace agreement, the Taliban committed to not stage any big attack on the center of the provinces, but residents in Maidan Wardak have said that neither the provincial capital is safe nor the highway.
“We see war and bullets each day,” said Najiburrahman, a resident in Maidan Shar.
The Taliban reportedly have a big presence in Jalrez, Sayedabad and Nirkh districts of Maidan Wardak province.
Meanwhile, Rahmatullah Nabil, the former head of Afghan intelligence agency --- the National Directorate of Security (NDS)-- in a post on Facebook has said that "foreign insurgents" and their "domestic affiliates" are mobilizing in Paktika and Zabul provinces to stage a major attack on the strategic province of Ghazni, which neighbors Maidan Wardak.
“According to reports, various domestic and foreign terrorist groups are intensifying their logistical supply through Paktika and Zabul from across the Durand Line and are preparing for a possible major attack on the strategic city of Ghazni,” Nabil wrote.
Nabil said that the Taliban leaders were also on the move between the Gomel district of Paktika province and the Shawal Valley of Waziristan. “In the Shawal Valley they held secret meetings with unknown people," said Nabil.
“If the Taliban are really sincere about the peace process, they should prevent this attack,” Nabil said.
Nabil said that the Taliban leaders in Qatar are disconnected from the reality on the ground of the war in Afghanistan, adding that Afghans will not be fooled by the deception of the Pakistan Army.