February 16, 2016
A series of militant attacks have claimed the lives of dozens of soldiers and policemen across the southern province of Helmand over the past three days.
Local Afghan officials said on Tuesday that at least 18 soldiers were killed during clashes with the Taliban militants in Sangin and Musa Qalah districts of the volatile province.
In another incident, at least 10 policemen lost their lives during a gun battle with Taliban in Gereshk area, a road junction north of the district capital Lashkar Gah.
At least two more policemen were killed when armed men clad in Afghan police uniform opened fire on them in Khan Nashin district on Monday night.
In the worst incident in Helmand on Sunday, a militant attack on a checkpoint in the district center of Sangin killed seven soldiers and 15 policemen.
Hundred of afghan security personnel have remained surrounded in various districts of the troubled province.
“Roads to Sangin are mostly blocked with explosive devices and we cannot send reinforcements,” Reuters quoted an Afghan security official as saying.
“Right now, some 250 police and 300 soldiers are surrounded by Taliban in Marjah and our forces are providing them support from the air,” the officials said.
Meanwhile, Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing war across the country.
The United Nations has said in a recent report that Afghan civilian causalities surpassed 11, 000 in 2015.
The figure shows a four percent increase compared to 2014. One in every four victims was a child.
According to the UN, nearly 59,000 people have been killed or wounded in Afghanistan since 2009.
Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity more than 14 years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The 2001 invasion removed the Taliban from power, but many areas across the country still face violence and insecurity.