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Afghan forces thwart Taliban's attempt to storm a prison in Helmand, 38 killed

August 03, 2021
File photo of Arghandab River Valley between Kandahar and Lashkargah.
File photo of Arghandab River Valley between Kandahar and Lashkargah.

KABUL — Afghan government forces have killed 38 members of Taliban after having attempted to storm a prison in the southwestern city of Lashkargah in Helmand province, the Afghan Defense Ministry informed on Monday.

"The terrorist Taliban attack on Lashkargah, Helmand provincial center prison failed last night. Out of the 40 terrorists who attacked the prison, 38 were killed and two injured," Afghan Defense Ministry spokesperson Fawad Aman said on Monday.

Aghan forces battled the Taliban in Lashkargah as the fighting intensified in the city in southern Helmand province and the frontline was in District 1 where the US conducted an airstrike on Monday morning.

According to Tolo News, Helmand lawmakers have said the clashes in District 1 are focused on capturing the district governor’s compound and that the prison and the police headquarters are under siege.

The clashes intensified just hours after the Aghan government announced the deployment of hundreds of commandos to the area. “Fighting is under way in Lashkargah. The security forces are not in a good condition there,” Mohammad Jami, a civil society activist from Helmand, was quoted as saying by the news channel.

Another civil society activist from the province said that the Taliban is hiding in people’s houses and using them as shields.

Tolo News reported citing people familiar with the development that the Taliban has taken over 12 districts in Helmand, except Kajaki, and has captured nine out of 10 districts in the city of Lashkargah.

They added that Matiullah Popal, the acting police chief for Nawzad district in Helmand, was killed while fighting the Taliban in Lashkargah on Monday morning.

According to the Tolo News report, nine bodies and eight wounded were taken to the Emergency Hospital in Lashkargah on Monday.

Doctors Without Border said casualties were mounting in Lashkargah. "There has been relentless gunfire, air strikes and mortars in densely populated areas. Houses are being bombed, and many people are suffering severe injuries," Sarah Leahy, the medical charity's coordinator for Helmand, in a statement.

President Ashraf Ghani blamed the US for the deteriorating security situation in his country. Ghani said he had warned Washington that the withdrawal would have "consequences".

"The reason for our current situation is that the decision was taken abruptly," Ghani told parliament, referring to the withdrawal of foreign forces. — Agencies


August 03, 2021
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