US News Afghanistan: third day of fighting around Herat, the largest city in western

22:15  31 july  2021
22:15  31 july  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Afghanistan: troisième jour de combats autour d'Hérat, la grande ville de l'ouest © AFP The

are fighting between Taliban and Afghan forces have resumed Saturday for the third consecutive day on the outskirts of Herat, the largest city in western Afghanistan , where the premises of the UN were attacked the day before.

In the morning, Afghan forces appeared yet have loosened the noose around the city of 600,000 inhabitants, the third of Afghanistan.

Military, including members of the commando units and Afghan police were widely deployed in the capitals of the Injil district, which encompasses Herat, and that of Guzara, south of the city, intense theaters fighting the day before, when calm had returned.

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Afghan troops were deployed in the area including Pashtun Pol, near the local Herat of the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), attacked Friday.

But fighting resumed in the afternoon on the outskirts of the city and the two districts, according to the governor of Herat province, Abdul Saboor Qani.

"Right now there are fighting in the south suburbs and southeast of the city of Herat", particularly in areas Pashtun Pul and Pul Malan, two bridges located ten kilometers south of the city, said he has to AFP Saturday afternoon.

"Afghan security forces and resistance forces + + (anti-Taliban militia) are fighting to repel and destroy the Taliban. We tried to save a maximum of the population, but the enemy took place in private homes. We we move carefully to avoid civilian casualties, "added the governor.

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battles also take place in the immediate vicinity of the airport, according to Qani, appeared on Afghan television in combat fatigues, assault rifle to shoulder, side by Ismail Khan, a powerful local warlord opposed the Taliban, whose strong hand lend militia in Herat to Afghan forces.

"Terror in the inhabitants"

"People have abandoned their homes to flee to the city of Herat (...) it creates terror among the population," he told AFP Gul Ahmad, who lives in the district of Injil.

Video: UN offices attacked in Herat in Afghanistan (Dailymotion)

The Taliban have recently seized several districts of Herat province, and two border posts located there, that of Islam Qala, the main crossing point with the Iran, and that of Torghundi with Turkmenistan .

Thursday and Friday, they had already reconciled to the city limits, around which were deployed Afghan forces and militias of Ismail Khan.

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The entrance to the offices of UNAMA was attacked Friday, including rocket launchers, "by anti-government elements", killing an Afghan police officer guarding the building and injuring several, according to the mission of 'UN.

The Taliban captured since early May vast rural areas of Afghanistan, in favor of an offensive launched across the country in parallel with the withdrawal of international forces.

Afghan forces have so far opposed little resistance and no longer control essentially that major provincial capitals - for some encircled - and most of the main roads.

Fighting in the southern insurgents have also increased in recent days their pressure on the other two provincial capitals of southern Afghanistan: Kandahar, the second largest city and birthplace of the Taliban and Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand.

Fighting continued Saturday in the outskirts of Kandahar (650,000 inhabitants), where helicopters for the Afghan army bombed the Taliban, according to an AFP correspondent.

Thousands of residents have fled in recent weeks the surrounding areas affected by the fighting to take refuge in the city.

In Kandahar, people are worried and more than three-quarters of businesses are closed, the correspondent said.

A Lashkar Gah, a small private hospital a dozen beds, where the Taliban were sheltering, was largely destroyed during fighting Saturday.

"Taliban fighters entered the force hospital and drove the staff. Commandos (Afghan) arrived and then called in air support," he told AFP Agha Mohammed, who lives nearby.

The Provincial Director of Health, Dr Sher Ali Shakir, confirmed that "the hospital Ariana Afghan had been bombed and destroyed essentially."

strs-mam-AYV / eb / sg

7/31/2021 5:11:23 p.m. - Herat (Afghanistan) (AFP) - AFP © 2021

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