The clashes broke out on July 9 and are gradually moving to populated suburbs, where the Taliban are beginning to build their positions. “Armed terrorists are hiding in populated areas, in the homes of locals, which they use as their bases. Due to this, combat operations are complicated and slow. Our troops are currently resisting their attacks, “said Jamal Nasir Barakzai, Kandahar’s police spokesman. “Yesterday the Taliban occupied the park. But we managed to get them out of there. They are in the houses on the other side. We have now built a base here, “one of the local soldiers points to the cameras of Radio Free Europe. At least 18 people have already been killed during the fighting in Kandahar, and the local hospital has injured about a hundred injured. Most of them are civilians.
“We were about to enter our house when the fire started. The bullets hit and injured my son. I took him away and took him here, “the father of the injured boy described in the hospital.
While fighting for the city continues, Taliban fighters have already occupied a large portion of government checkpoints around the city, according to local media. Ongoing fighting has already forced about 2,000 people to leave Kandahar. “Heavy fighting took place here in the morning and at night. Mortar fire was also heard. People who could have escaped have already done so, but the poor stay here, “one of the locals described in an interview with RFE / RL reporters.
During the initial offensive, Taliban troops encountered little resistance and seized large rural areas and important border crossings with Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. According to the AFP, government forces now control only the major transport routes and provincial capitals.
The leader of the Afghan Islamist movement, the Taliban, Hajbatullah Achundzada, reiterated that he remains “decisively for a political settlement” in Afghanistan “regardless of the Taliban’s progress and military victories” in the last two months.
The possibility that the Afghan government will fall in a few weeks and the Taliban will take control of the whole country is becoming more and more realistic, according to observers.
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