Clashes in Afghanistan after US misses withdrawal deadline

TEHRAN, May 05 (MNA) – After a missed US deadline to withdraw troops, the Taliban armed group has launched attacks across Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s security forces have fought back a Taliban offensive in southern Helmand province, officials and residents have said, as the armed group launched assaults around the country after a missed United States deadline to withdraw troops.

According to AL-Jazeera, Attaullah Afghan, the head of Helmand’s provincial council, said the Taliban had launched its offensive on Monday from multiple directions. The group attacked checkpoints around the outskirts of the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, taking over some of them, he said.

Afghan security forces had carried out airstrikes and deployed elite commando forces to the area. The group had been pushed back but fighting was continuing on Tuesday and hundreds of families had been displaced, he added.

As part of the pullout, US forces handed over a base in Helmand to Afghan government troops two days ago.

In Washington, the US military said that about two to six percent of the withdrawal process had been completed so far.

The May 1 deadline for US troops to pull out was agreed to last year under former President Donald Trump. The Taliban rejected President Joe Biden’s announcement that troops would stay on past the deadline but withdraw over the next four and a half months.

The deadline has been met with a surge in violence, with a car bomb in Logar province killing almost 30 people on Friday evening.

On Monday, at least seven Afghan military personnel were killed when the Taliban set off explosives smuggled through a tunnel the group had dug into an army outpost in southwestern Farah province.

HJ/PR

News Code 173008

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