‘244,000 Afghans internally displaced since May’

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Many initially fled their homes in rural areas due to fighting, seeking refuge in provincial capitals….reports Asian Lite News

Afghanistan is witnessing a huge rise in internally displaced people (IDPs) due to the Taliban offensive, post the withdrawal of foreign troops.

According to data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 244,000 people were internally displaced since May, an increase of more than 300 per cent compared with the same period last year, reported Al Jazeera.

According to the report, most of the people are fleeing from northeastern and eastern Afghanistan. Nearly all lack adequate shelter, access to medical care and sufficient food, it said.

Many initially fled their homes in rural areas due to fighting, seeking refuge in provincial capitals.

However, the fighting has shifted to urban centres in recent weeks as the Taliban closes in on many of Afghanistan’s larger cities.

In the last few days alone, the Taliban has assumed control of five Afghan provincial capitals, mainly in the north of the country, including Kunduz, the sixth-largest city in Afghanistan, which fell to the group on Sunday, reported Al Jazeera.

As the Taliban advance across Afghanistan shows no sign of slowing, IDP numbers are expected to increase further.

At present, heavy fighting is continuing between the government and Taliban forces around the capitals of Helmand, Kandahar, Herat, and Badakhshan provinces, reported Al Jazeera.

Govt to arm civilian militias

Afghanistan government on Monday decided to provide civilian militias with arms and ammunition amid increasing offensives by the Taliban.

The decision follows the meeting of President Ashraf Ghani with prominent Afghan leaders to discuss the current situation in the country, Sputnik reported.

“In this meeting, a decision was made on supporting the security forces, to safeguard and keep the Republic, and on the cohesion, strengthening and rapid equipping of the public uprisings against the enemy’s attacks,” the Presidential office said in a statement.

Afghan security force members walk past coffins of comrades killed in a checkpoint attack by Taliban militants in Faiz Abad district of Jawzjan province. (Photo by Mohammad Jan Aria_Xinhua_IANS)

Meanwhile, massive fighting between the Afghan forces and the Taliban terrorists is underway in the country’s northern provinces of Balkh and Takhar since Sunday night, local media reports said quoting provincial officials.

The security forces supported by public uprising forces retook the control of Farkhar and Worsaj districts in Takhar on Sunday after they retreated from the capital city Taluqan.

The Taliban now controls all the districts of Helmand province and has been fighting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in the provincial capital, Lashkargah.

The Taliban’s aggressive offensive has killed many government forces and innocent civilians. Multiple reports have claimed that the group has been looting innocent civilians after capturing various areas.

The terror group’s recent skirmish became aggressive soon after the US troops started leaving war-torn Afghanistan in large numbers under the new peace deal signed between Washington and the Taliban in February last year. (ANI)

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