Taliban block Kabul-Kandahar highway near Qalat
QALAT (Pajhwok): The Taliban have blocked the Kabul-Kandahar highway over the past three days near the capital of southern Zabul province, an official said on Thursday, when security forces reopened the road in Ghazni province.
Gul Islam, the spokesman for Zabul governor, told Pajhwok Afghan News the armed rebels had blocked the flow of traffic on the key highway in two areas --- Spin Ghbargi and Kharijwe --- on the outskirts of Qalat, the provincial capital.
However, security forces were able to reopen the highway in Spin Ghbargi area, but the route remained blocked in Kharijwe locality, where security forces had reached to reopen the road, he said.
Islam said about 60 Taliban militants had been killed and wounded during three days of clashes with security forces in Zabul.
Asmatullah, a resident of Kharijwe area, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had blocked the highway in the area and were not allowing people to travel on the road.
He said clashes between security forces and militants were still underway in Khan and Norak villages of the area.
A day earlier, the police chief for southern Kandahar province, Gen. Abdul Raziq, visited Zabul province to assist security forces in controlling the security situation.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News the fighters had closed the Kabul-Kandahar highway from Shah Joy district to Shahr-i-Safa district in Zabul.
He said clashes between the insurgents and security forces in these areas were underway. He claimed the government forces sustained heavy casualties. Ahmadi said two fighters had been killed and six others wounded during the three days of clashes with security forces.
The Taliban have closed the same highway in central Maidan Wardak province and kept the road closed for three days in Ghazni province where the road was reopened on Thursday.
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