Security sources on Monday reported a cluster of attacks by the Taliban on multiple parts of the Baghlan-Balkh highway, a key route that connects Kabul with northern and northeastern provinces.
The sources said the clashes are ongoing in the Chashma-e-Shir area and on the outskirts of Pul-e-Khumri city, the center of Baghlan, leaving the highway closed to traffic.
The clashes started after the Taliban installed a checkpoint on Baghlan-Balkh highway in Chashma-e-Shir area and started “extorting funds from truck drivers," say sources.
Hundreds of vehicles have been stranded on both sides of the highway, according to eyewitnesses and passengers.
Ahmad, a passenger, said that women and children are among those stranded on the two sides of the highway and are in a bad condition.
The commander of a highway unit, Abdul Ghani Mahmoudi, said the Taliban closed the highway after launching an attack on it.
He added that Taliban have hidden in civilians’ homes and there is a need for reinforcement troops to push the militants back from the highway.
The Taliban has not commented on the attack so far.