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With advent of summer, Taliban attacks spike in Kandahar

With advent of summer, Taliban attacks spike in Kandahar

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Jun 16, 2019 - 11:52

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): With the weather getting hot, fighting in southern Kandahar province has intensified.

Insurgent attacks on security check-posts in northern and southern districts of the province have seen a sharp spike.

Militants preferred staging targeted attacks during Ramadaninfo-icon, when two or three such incidents would happen on a daily basis in Kandahar.

But now the rebels have turned to face- to-face fighting, according to residents. They said fighting increased during fruit harvest and inflicted life and financial losses.

Security officials believed fighting in Kandahar and other parts of the country intensified after seminaries in Pakistaninfo-icon were closed for summer vacation.

Akhar Mohammad, a resident of Shah Walikot district who has a fig orchard, said the weather had become hot and militants had stepped up their attacks.

The insurgents regularly attack security check-posts in Shah Walikot districts and other areas at night and clashes go on for hours.

He said both sides suffered casualties during firefights. Civilians are also under threat.

In Kandahar, orchards are ready for harvest but, unfortunately, escalating fighting has caused growers multiple problems..

Farmers in Kandahar harvest melon, watermelon, grapes, apricot, fig and other fresh fruits in the summer.

Shah Zaman, a resident of Khakrez district, said when fighting intensified, people suffered because most of key roads were closed and there was a greater danger of landmine blasts.

People did not necessarily move but when they did, they were more cautions, he said.

He also noted a spike in fighting between police and militants in Shah WaliKot, Khakrez, Mianshin, Maiwand and other districts.

Police chief Maj. Gen. Tadin Khan acknowledged that fighting had intensified in some districts, where militants had stormed security posts.

He said the reason behind the growing violence was the end of the educational session in Pakistan and seminary vacation. Hundreds of new students had joined Talibaninfo-icon’s ranks, he added.

He, however, claimed the Pakistani military personnel support Taliban’s major attacks and led the fighting. Most of the time, bodies remain on the battle ground, he said.

The Pakistan military and its intelligence personnel aided the Taliban activities, including mine making, he charged.

Tadin Khan, however, said security forces had already launched operations in some areas to stop the militants from launching attacks.

He explained military offensives in the Jangal area of Shah Walikot and an operation to reopen the Uruzgan-Kandahar highway were part of efforts to foil summer attacks.

The Taliban have not specifically talked about accelerating attacks in Kandahar, but say the group has intensified its campaign across the country as part of their operation codenamed Al-Fatah.

nh/mud

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