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Insecurity increases in western provinces: Officials

KABUL (TOLO News): Insecurity and conflicts have increased in the western provinces of Afghanistan following different attacks by the Taliban militants, several officials confirmed, as the seventh round of the peace talks is ongoing between the US and the Taliban in Doha.

Three districts in Herat, two districts in Badghis, six districts in Ghor and the outskirts of the city of Farah have witnessed heavy clashes between security forces and the Taliban in recent weeks, officials said.

The power transmission lines to Qala-e-Naw, the center of Ghor, have been cut off by militants for the past two weeks which officials say is a result of an increase in security.

Local officials said that the districts of Chesht, Pashtun Zarghoon, and Gulran in Herat were recently attacked by the Taliban and according to the provincial governor, foreign fighters were also among them.

“The number of foreign terrorists has increased because the enemy has lost its morale and has no option but to seek the help of those countries which are supporting them,” the Herat governor Abdul Qayum Rahimi said.

However, Herat Police Chief, Gen. Aminullah Amarkhail, said that the security forces have been able to reduce the threats.

“We supported Parsi district and the security forces are there. We launched an operation in Pashtun Zarghoon district for one week and reduced the threats there,” Amarkhail said.

In Ghor, as another main province in the west of Afghanistan, six districts have witnessed the Taliban’s presence and are under threat.

“The western and northwestern parts of Ghor province are under threat by the Taliban over the past ten days but we have not seen any step by the security forces to overcome the concerns,” said Abdul Hamid Natiqi, member of Ghor Provincial Council.

“Security forces checkpoints have relocated in some areas and so far, we have not received any report about harm to the security forces,” said Abdulhai Khatibi, a spokesman for Ghor governor.

Meanwhile, some members of Farah Provincial Council said that the Taliban has arrived on the outskirts of the city of Farah and are threatening the center of the province.

“The militants have increased their pressure… Farah residents are very much concerned about this,” said Shah Mahmood Naeemi, deputy head of Farah Provincial Council.

Critics said that there is a need for more attention to the security of the west zone by the relevant institutions.

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