Afghanistan: Bodies on the streets as fighting traps Lashkar Gah residents

Bodies on the streets as fighting traps Lashkar Gah residents
Afghan government forces are battling the Taliban in three key cities. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The resident of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan is one of the thousands fleeing or trapped as fighting for control of the city rages between government forces and Taliban militants.

One of the city residents said: “The Taliban will have no mercy on us and the government won’t stop the bombing.”

The man told BBC: “There are corpses on the roads. We do not know if they are civilians or the Taliban. Dozens of families have fled their homes and settled near the Helmand river.”

Taking control of Helmand provincial capital would be of huge symbolic value to the Taliban insurgents as they continue their rapid and aggressive advance after the pullout of foreign forces. Helmand was the centrepiece of the British and the United States military campaign.

The United Nations (UN) and other agencies are warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis in Lashkar Gah. At least 40 civilians have been killed in the city in the past day, the UN said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Afghan army urged city residents to leave Lashkar Gah ahead of a major battle against the militant group. The Taliban was driven from power by US-led forces 20 years ago.

Elsewhere in the south, the hardline Islamist militant group is trying to capture Kandahar, their former stronghold, and fighting have also intensified in Herat in the west.

You may read: Civilians urged to evacuate Afghan amid Taliban battle