The clashes in the southern province of Helmand have advanced further towards PD3 of the Lashkargah city, a few kilometers from the police headquarters, according to residents and members of the provincial council.
The provincial council members warned that threats to the city will increase if the situation remains unnoticed by the government.
TOLOnews reporter Khaled Nikzad. who visited the frontline in Nawa district, Helmand province, says that the government forces told him that they were making efforts to retake the fallen areas from the Taliban.
The clashes have displaced more than 5,000 families, according to the Refugees and Repatriation Directorate of Helmand. They have also closed over 40 schools in the province.
The Helmand clashes have drawn national and international reactions from Afghan officials and foreign diplomats who have condemned the Taliban attack and called on the group to reduce violence.
“Today (Saturday) the fourth police district (PD4) fell (to militants). The frontline is in PD3. We are here at the frontline until our last breath,” said Sayed Mohammad, a police soldier.
“The enemy wants to damage the city, but we have weakened them,” said Sefatullah, a police commander of PD3 of Lashkargah city.
The residents said they fear a collapse of Lashkargah city as the fighting continues.
“The war has reached PD3. We think that the city will fall if the situation continues. We hope that both sides agree on a political settlement and peace comes to the country,” said Noor-Ul-Haq, a Lashkargah resident.
“The Taliban are the sons of this soil...We are damaged by the war. Let’s get together,” said Mohammad Amin, a Lashkargah resident.
According to figures by security agencies, more than 300 Taliban members, over 30 security personnel and 10 civilians have been killed and wounded in Helmand clashes in the last 10 days.
“The government has not made advances. If they don’t conduct operations, the situation will worsen,” said Abdul Hameed Ahundzada, a member of Helmand provincial council.
Security forces said their operations to retake areas from the Taliban are moving forward slowly, in order to protect civilians.
“The joint forces of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as well as commandos and special forces have made advances and are chasing the Taliban house-by-house,” said Farid Ahmadi, commander of a unit of special operations forces.
“There is the issue of public benefit. The enemy has damaged it. Therefore, we don’t want to harm civilians and we move forward slowly,” said Khalil-Ur-Rahman, Helmand police chief.