Taliban kills top Afghan government media official as fighting rages
– ‘Nothing left’ –
Government forces continue to hit Taliban positions with airstrikes and commando raids, and the defense ministry boasted Friday of eliminating more than 400 insurgents in the past 24 hours.
Both sides frequently exaggerate battlefield casualty figures, making independent verification virtually impossible.
But even as Afghan officials claimed to be hitting the Taliban hard, security forces have yet to flush out the militants from provincial capitals they have already entered — with hundreds of thousands of civilians forced to flee in recent weeks.
Social media is filled with videos of the devastating toll the fighting has taken in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, with posts showing a major market area in flames.
Aid group Action Against Hunger said its offices had been hit by an “aerial bomb” in the city earlier this week, according to a statement released by the organization on Friday.
“The building was marked from the street and roof as a non-governmental (NGO) organization, and the office location has been communicated often to the parties involved in the conflict,” said the group, adding that no staff had been harmed.
In the western city of Herat, a steady stream of people was leaving their homes in anticipation of a government assault on positions held by the Taliban.
“We completely evacuated,” said Ahmad Zia, who lived in the western part of the city.
“We have nothing left and we do not know where to go,” he told AFP.
© Agence France-Presse
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