KABUL—The Taliban commander overseeing an assault on the important thing southern metropolis of Lashkargah is one in all 5,000 former prisoners launched by the Afghan authorities final yr underneath strain from the U.S., Afghan and Western officers say.
The commander, Mawlavi Talib, is one in all hundreds of former prisoners freed to additional peace talks who’ve returned to the battlefield to affix the Taliban onslaught towards cities across the nation, Afghan officers say. The presence of the Taliban fighters is a recent pressure in relations between Washington and Kabul, because the U.S.-backed authorities struggles to fend off Taliban attacks throughout the country.
Afghan officers stated fierce combating continued Tuesday in Lashkargah, the provincial capital of Helmand province, after heavy U.S. airstrikes and a counterattack by U.S.-trained Afghan commandos in a single day. Underneath Mr. Talib’s command, lots of of Taliban have pushed towards the town heart over the previous week. On Tuesday they launched an assault on Lashkargah’s jail in a bid to launch extra inmates and recruit them into the combat.
The combating in Lashkargah is a part of a wider countrywide Taliban offensive that had captured half of the nation’s distant districts by final month and now threatens provincial capitals. On Tuesday, the federal government stated that its commandos launched a counterattack within the western metropolis of Herat, whose defenses had been teetering. Taliban forces final month pierced defenses in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest metropolis, however authorities forces are holding regular there.
Afghanistan’s Protection Ministry stated Tuesday its forces killed round 375 Taliban and wounded 193 in combating throughout the nation within the final 24 hours. Eleven improvised explosive gadgets had been found and defused, the ministry stated. The Afghan authorities has stopped releasing statistics by itself navy casualties to keep away from demoralizing its troops.
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