Passengers in the Kabul-Ghazni highway have said they are forced to change their routes due to an increasing presence of Taliban on the road connecting Kabul to the southern provinces.
They said the Taliban has established check posts along the highway in several areas and are stopping passengers.
The journey on the highway, which takes about three hours, takes about five hours now, drivers said.
“They (Taliban) stop vehicles in Shashgao area. There is huge dust because you need to travel on dusty roads for 20 to 30 minutes,” said Bashir Ahmad, a driver.
“Only one portion of the highway is opened. You need to travel on dusty roads,” said Hamdullah, a resident of Ghazni.
“We travelled between the villages, we witnessed a lot of problems while travelling to Ghazni,” said Farshad, a Ghazni resident.
In recent weeks, the Kabul-Ghazni highway has witnessed a rising security threats because of the presence of the Taliban.
“The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces are using all their abilities to repel these threats,” said Tariq Aryan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
Latest incidents of violence:
At least nine people, including eight civilians, were killed in two roadside bombings in the central city of Ghani on Saturday morning, said Wahidullah Jumazada, spokesman for Ghazni governor.
The first explosion happened in Rawza area in Ghazi city when a vehicle struck a roadside bomb in which eight civilians, including four women, were killed and one more was wounded, Jumazada said.
He said the second explosion happened when a security forces vehicle struck a roadside bomb as they arrived at the first explosion’s scene.
This comes as violence has remained high in the country despite ongoing peace negotiations in Doha.
Figures by the Ministry of Interior Affairs show that the Taliban conducted 356 movements over the last week. Two suicide attacks and 52 explosions were part of the movements, the data shows.
The data also indicates that 51 civilians were killed and 137 more were wounded in the Taliban attacks over the last week.
The ministry also says that the Afghan forces responded to Taliban offensives in the last week in which 403 Taliban fighters were killed and 140 more were wounded.
Taliban has not commented on the data provided by the ministry.