Afghan Taliban siege provincial capital in Afghanistan

Afghan Taliban siege provincial capital in Afghanistan

KABUL - Head of refugees and repatriation department of Farah province on Saturday said over 7,000 families have fled from their homes in the province as a result of ongoing skirmishes between the Taliban and security forces on the outskirts of the city.

Farah refugees and repatriation director Rahmuddin Rigiwal said many of these families have left the province as clashes intensify.

Rigiwal said the situation has raised serious concerns and displaced families are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

“Since the start of the battles, nearly 7,100 families have been displaced from the districts and remote areas and they have come to Farah city,” said Rigiwal.

Farah residents said they are really worried about the Taliban’s advance on the city.

“This is the worst situation that we have. We along with our families are awake all night and are afraid that we may get killed,” Noor Ahmad, a resident of Farah said.

“We have left our houses and have fled and now we are living in the worst situation and so far no one has helped us,” Dawood, another resident of Farah said.

The security issue and the ongoing battle between Taliban and security forces in Farah was discussed in parliament on Saturday.

A number of parliament members said if more troops are not deployed to the province, Taliban could seize the city.

“Farah's situation is worryinng and we want government to pay attention to this and not let the province collapse to the Taliban,” MP Mohammad Sarwar Osmani said.

“Farah's situation is vital in the west zone of the country. If Farah's situation deteriorates, other provinces, especially Herat will become,” MP Ghulam Farooq Majrooh said.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish meanwhile said a special operation has been launched in the province and a number of insurgents including a few commanders have been killed so far.

“We have started our operation in the Khake Safid district and so far 17 insurgents including two of their local commanders have been killed. The operation will continue untill the Taliban are eliminated,” said Danish.

Although the skirmishes between Taliban and security forces are intensifying and Taliban are advancing on Farah city, the province’s governor and police chief have been in Kabul for a few days.

The governor and police chief refused however to comment about the situation in Farah or about them being in Kabul, but the interior ministry said the police chief has been ordered to return to Farah.

On Friday Farah’s deputy governor spoke out about the poor war management in the province and said in the last week over 50 security force members were killed in ongoing battles.

Farah deputy governor Mohammad Younus Rasuli criticized government for its poor war management and said the Taliban has positioned itself on the outskirts of Farah city.

“Currently security forces have not made any move to target the insurgents and our defensive status is not right. In the last week only, over 50 security force members have been killed,” said Rasuli.

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