Civilians urged to evacuate Afghan amid Taliban battle

urged to evacuate amid Taliban battle
Afghan forces are battling the Taliban in Lashkar Gah. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Civilians of a besieged Afghan city have been urged to evacuate ahead of an Afghan military operation against the Taliban.

General Sami Sadat, who is leading the battle against the Islamist militant group in the southern province of Helmand, called on residents to leave its capital Lashkar Gah as soon as possible.

The United Nations (UN) says, at least 40 civilians have been killed in Lashkar Gah in the past day amid intense fighting.

The Taliban are reported to have captured most of Lashkar Gah.

But the fighting between the Afghan army and Taliban is continuing, and government forces have vowed not to let it fall into militant hands.

Gen Sadat said in a message to civilians of the city that the army would “not leave a single Taliban alive”.

He said: “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.”

Earlier, in an interview with the BBC, Gen Sadat said that while government forces had lost ground, he believed the militant group would be unable to sustain their assault.

The Taliban assault in Helmand province is part of a major offensive across the country.

Taliban has made rapid and aggressive advances in recent months as the US military has withdrawn after 20 years of military operations in the country.

Helmand province was the centrepiece of the US and British military campaign

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