Clashes intensify in Laghman, Baghlan

KABUL (Tolo News): Fighting has reached the centers of both Baghlan province in the north and Laghman province in the east. A district center in Laghman and some outposts fell to the Taliban in the last few days. The clashes in the two provinces have intensified after the three-day ceasefire on May 13 to May 15. The center of Dawlatshah district in Laghman fell to the Taliban on Friday.

Laghman residents said the Taliban presence will expand in the province if the government does not provide the required attention. Figures indicate that at least 10 civilians and armed forces were killed due to fighting in the last 24 hours. Afghan Army Chief Gen. Yasin Zia visited Laghman along with other security officials, but sources from the province said a military base and two outposts were evacuated by security forces in the Ganjoon area on the outskirts of the city of Mehtarlam, the provincial center, and some forces have surrendered to the Taliban.

“The fighting is 200 meters from Mehtarlam city. So far, there is no plan by the government to clear Laghman’s districts,” said Sahib Noor Qaderi, a Laghman resident. “One outpost in the Maidani area fell to militants. It collapsed after being under siege for three days,” said Gul Marai Laghmani, a senator.

In Baghlan, clashes are underway in four of its districts as well as on the outskirts of Pul-e-Khumri, the provincial center. “Efforts are underway to ensure a ceasefire between the government and the opposition in Baghlan-e-Markazi (district),” said Nasim Mudabir, an MP from Baghlan. “In fact, if the central government or the local government proposes such a plan to the central government, there will be a disaster.”

According to figures by security agencies, clashes are underway in at least 20 provinces, including near their centers. The government launched operations to retake Charkh district in Logar, the Burka district in Baghlan, Dawlat Shah in Laghman, and Narkh and Jalrez in Maidan Wardak, but these operations have not succeeded in clearing out Taliban fighters. “A proper and inclusive plan for security agencies is lacking. Sporadic fighting serves the enemy,” said Sayed Muqadam Amin, a military affairs analyst.