KABUL: Afghan Armed Forces say the advance of Taliban militants in Herat, Helmand and Kandahar provinces has been pushed back as government troops battled to defend the cities amid the insurgent assault.
Intense fighting in the suburbs of Herat, Helmand and Kandahar has been reported since Friday. Afghan security and defense forces also reported heavy casualties from Taliban fighters as a result of airstrikes in those provinces.
General Omar Shinwari, a spokesman for Afghan forces, told reporters on Sunday that defense lines had been set up in Herat, Helmand and Kandahar and that there was no serious problem in the provinces.
“All members of the Afghan Armed Forces, especially in these three provinces, which are under high threat and state of emergency, are ready to protect these areas from the enemy. We have already pushed them back,” he said.
Gen. Shinwari said operational and tactical commanders were controlling the situation.
He added deputy Interior Minister for security General Abdul Rahman Rahman had arrived in Herat to lead the war with fresh reinforcements.
Security forces have launched 221 military operations during the past week, killing 1,323 Taliban fighters, wounding 770 and arresting 132 of them, said Shinwari.
Shinwari did not comment on casualties among Afghan security and defense forces during the operations, but added that 66 civilians were killed and 198 wounded in Taliban attacks during the period.