Taliban attack Afghan provincial capital | Free press

At the same time as NATO and US forces began to withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban intensified their attacks on government personnel and soldiers. Since the beginning of May alone, four districts have been in the hands of the Islamists.

Kabul (AP) – The militant Islamist Taliban are continuing their military offensives in Afghanistan. On Monday evening they attacked the provincial capital of Mehtarlam of Laghman province in the east of the country.

According to local officials, the Islamists were able to break the security ring around the city and attack the central prison. A fall of the city could still be prevented by arriving reinforcements with special forces.

Initially there was no information about possible victims. According to a spokesman for the governor, about 100 guards were arrested for neglecting their duties and sent to Kabul during the fighting. Local journalists had previously reported that security forces had surrendered to the Taliban.

According to provincial councils, there has also been fighting in the districts of Alingar and Alischang in the same province. Without reinforcement, these are in danger of falling to the Islamists, he said. Last week, security forces had to withdraw from Daulat Shah district in Laghman.

The Taliban have also been attacking security forces in several districts of Baghlan province in the north of the country since Sunday evening (local time). At least eight soldiers were killed in Gusargah-e Nur district, according to provincial councils. There were also sporadic skirmishes around the provincial capital of Pul-e Chumri.

Since the official withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan on May 1, the Taliban have launched several offensives in the country. Some have managed to fend off the security forces, while elsewhere they are under severe pressure. Since the beginning of May, four districts fell into the hands of the Islamists. The morale of the regular police and army units appears to be poor and the main burden of the fighting is borne by the special forces. It is unclear whether the US military is currently supporting Afghan security forces with air strikes.

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