Heratis march against Taliban

KABUL (Agencies): As battles raged across Herat city, amid a barrage of attacks by the Taliban, thousands of residents stood on the roofs of their houses and shouted out words of encouragement to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who were battling the insurgent group.
After President Ashraf Ghani’s appeal to members of parliament on Monday to mobilize their people in support of the security forces, Herat residents took to the streets and climbed on their roofs chanting slogans including “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great). On Tuesday, Ghani responded in a tweet by saying that with the chanting of “Allahu Akbar” by Herat residents, this “showed in a loud voice what this phrase truly represents.”
This mobilization coincided with the launch of an operation in Herat against the Taliban – an operation that clearly has the support of the public. Ismail Khan, a former jihadi leader and leader of the Popular Resistance Front, which is leading the fight by public uprising forces against the Taliban in Herat city, called on the people, including women, to show their support of the security forces.
“It is the duty of every woman and the people of Herat to save themselves from this army of ignorance (the Taliban). The Taliban are more ignorant than in the past, and if they enter the city of Herat with this ignorance, they will torment the people in such a way that everyone will regret not having risen up against the Taliban.” Herat officials meanwhile announced on Monday that a large-scale operation against the Taliban had been launched in several parts of Herat city.
Herat Governor Abdul Sabour Qani said Tuesday the western part of Herat has been cleared of Taliban and security forces are continuing operations in the southern part of the city. According to sources, clashes continue in the south of the city, about two kilometers from the city center.
The governor of Herat said that with the arrival of reinforcements from Kabul, the Taliban’s advance on the city of Herat has been stopped and ground and air operations against the group’s fighters are continuing. Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense reports that more than 40 Taliban insurgents have been killed in recent clashes in the city of Herat and that several parts of the city have been cleared of Taliban. The ministry did not comment on whether security forces had sustained any casualties. The Taliban have not yet commented on the group’s casualties in clashes with government forces.