Families Flee As Afghan Army Battles Taliban For Control Of Besieged City
Sumaira FH 2 months ago Wed 04th August 2021 | 10:40 AM
Kandahar, Afghanistan, Aug 4 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Aug, 2021 ) :Families fled their homes as the Afghan army launched a major counterattack against the Taliban in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, residents said Wednesday.
Resident Saleh Mohammad said hundreds of families had fled after the military asked people to leave on Tuesday, but many were stuck in the crossfire.
"There is no way to escape from the area because the fighting is ongoing. There is no guarantee that we will not be killed on the way," Mohammad said.
"The government and the Taliban are destroying us." The insurgents have taken control of vast swathes of the countryside and key border towns, taking advantage of the security vacuum left by the withdrawal of US forces.
Mohammadi was safe and Afghan forces repelled the attacks, but five people were killed.
- 'Born to die' - The early morning fighting in Lashkar Gah followed another night of heavy clashes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in the city, just hours after the military gave an evacuation order for residents.
"Those families which had financial support or a car have left their homes. The families who can not afford to are obliged to stay in their own homes as we are," resident Halim Karimi told AFP.
"We don't know where to go or how to leave. We are born to die." The loss of Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand province, would be a massive strategic and psychological blow for the government.
"I know it is very difficult for you to leave your houses -- it is hard for us too -- but if you are displaced for a few days, please forgive us.
Less than two hours after the car bomb detonated, another loud blast followed by smaller explosions and rapid gunfire, also near the high-security Green Zone that houses several embassies, including the US mission.
"Several lawmakers were meeting at the house of this MP to make a plan to counter the Taliban offensive in the north," the source told AFP.