KABUL: The Kunduz-Takhar highway in the north has been blocked for traffic as Taliban fighters attack security forces, officials and passengers say.
The road blockage inflicts problems on the people in northeastern provinces of Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan.
“I came to Takhar on Wednesday. Now I am trapped here as severe clashes between Taliban and government forces cause the highway blocked. Passengers have to use a farther route that is expensive for them,” said Habibullah, a resident of the neighboring province of Kunduz.
“The road blockage has affected our business since no passenger comes to us. They do not want to go through another road because they have to pay more,” Nasir Ahmad, a bus driver said.
Mohammad Yousuf Ayyoubi, member of Kunduz provincial council called on the government to take practical steps for the road reopening.
“We want the central government and local administration to reopen the road. We call on the Taliban to let vehicles pass the road,” Ayyoubi said.
Officials in Kunduz pledged to reopen the road soon.
“Offensive operations have been stopped to not harm the peace process, but the government leadership is in contacts with tribal elders to seek a peaceful way for the reopening of the road,” said Esmatullah Moradi, spokesman for Kunduz provincial governor.
Sources in Kunduz say that 10 government forces have been killed and another nine injured in the clashes with the Taliban.
The reports of insecurity comes as both the government and Taliban have announced readiness for peace negotiations in the few coming days.