Code 238227
PublishDate: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 14:13

Intensification Of Taliban Attacks On Farah City

Local sources in Farah province report the intensification of widespread attacks by Taliban fighters on Farah city, the capital of the province.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Abdul Samad Salehi, a member of the Farah Provincial Council, told Subhe Kabul daily that Taliban insurgents had launched attacks on Farah on Monday night and are continuing. According to him, Taliban fighters had entered parts of the PD4 of Farah city, but were repulsed by security forces.

Salehi added that Taliban attacks on the city of Farah had started on Tuesday from three directions and that there were sporadic clashes between security forces and Taliban fighters around the city. The Farah provincial council member said security forces did not suffer any casualties, but the Taliban suffered heavy casualties.

This comes even as people, especially in the west of Kabul, are currently preparing for Muharram. Around the world, Shiite Muslims mourn the first ten days of Muharram. Preparations for the event are being made at a time when fighting is raging in many Afghan provinces, with a number of civilians being killed and wounded daily by Taliban attacks. The security situation in west Kabul has been continuously vulnerable over the past year, and from time to time it has been attacked by suicide bombers or landmines, killing and injuring hundreds of residents. In the latest incident, an attack on the Sayyid al-Shuhada school in Kabul’s                    -e-Barchi killed many female students.

Despite these threats, however; residents of western Kabul want to prepare for Muharram just like previous years. The poor security situation has worried many citizens. Meanwhile, Governor of Kabul said that immigrants and displaced people from the provinces who came to Kabul as a result of the war will be transferred to a suitable place for their urgent treatment.

An extraordinary emergency meeting was held in Kabul province under the chairmanship of Kabul Governor Mohammad Yaqub Haidari with the participation of members of the Emergency Committee. First, members of the Kabul Emergency Committee provided information on the situation of IDPs and refugees displaced by war and insecurity in various areas, and shared their views and suggestions on relocation, provision of health services, care for them, and assistance from partner organizations.

Meanwhile, Kabul Governor, after hearing the views of members of parliament, instructed the Immigration and Disaster Management Departments of Kabul Province to jointly survey the IDPs and assess their basic needs and address them urgently. The governor of Kabul stressed on the need to relocate IDPs and relocate them to appropriate locations and provide basic services as soon as possible. He instructed the Departments of Economy, Refugees of Kabul Province to coordinate all partner institutions to help these displaced persons and use all their resources. He also instructed the Public Health Department of Kabul Province to provide health services so that the mobile public health team could provide them with ongoing health services.

Meanwhile, in other news, there are also problems of those who have migrated from Takhar and Kunduz provinces following heavy fighting there. Large numbers of people gradually left their homes and areas and moved to safer areas. Many families left Kunduz for Badakhshan. They accuse the Taliban of mistreatment and say they have been forced to leave their homes. A number of other families and those who were able went to Kabul. Many of these displaced people are housed in the Khair Khana Park. Many have also gone to the homes of friends and acquaintances. The situation of and Kunduz refugees in Kabul is also deplorable.

Takhar province has 17 districts, of which only two districts are currently under the control of security forces. Although the exact number of displaced people in Takhar province is not known, Ahmad Yasin Labib, Takhar’s director of refugees, had previously told Hashte Subh daily that thousands of displaced families needed food and shelter following the fall of Takhar districts. According to him, about 12,000 families have fled from insecure areas to safe areas in the province.

Labib stated that of 12,000 displaced families in the city of Taloqan, the department has provided assistance to only 3,400 families. According to him, other families are not in good condition and need immediate help. The head of refugees and returnees says that due to the rising cost of raw materials in the province, displaced families cannot afford to buy their necessities. Currently, relief agencies in Takhar, Jowzjan, Nimroz, Helmand and Kunduz provinces have been suspended due to the severity of the war.

Even in Daikundi, the story is the same. About two months have passed since the Taliban launched their offensive in Patu district of Daikundi province. More than 2,000 families from different parts of the district have been displaced following clashes between the Taliban and security forces. The families have been displaced from Sartagab, Lora Shew, Zain, Karizak, Beri and several other villages and have taken refuge in Qakhoor village of Patu district center, Kiso village of Kiti district and the capital of Daikundi province.

Displaced people from the Patu war, who live in a camp in Nili, the capital of , complain about the government’s negligence, saying that the local government and partner institutions have not paid much attention to their plight. Noor Mohammad, one of the IDPs told Hashte Subh daily that he and his family had been displaced from the village of Spermi to the town of Nili for several days, but had not yet received any assistance. Noor Mohammad adds that his family of fourteen is in a very bad situation. He says he has been to government offices several times, but no one has heard his voice: “I was told we would help those who have been relocated to the camp, but not to others.”

Another source from Daikundi says that the lack of electricity, lack of safe drinking water, food and fuel, lack of clothes, lack of baths and toilets are the main problems in the IDP camps. The Daikundi Office for Refugees and Repatriations, however, says that assistance has been provided to war refugees in Patu district and that many of the complaints and reports are untrue. Mustafa Alavi, director general of reintegration at the Daikundi Immigration Office, told Hashte Subh daily that more than 2,300 families displaced by the war have been registered so far. According to Alavi, 490 families in the Qakhoor area of central Pato, 872 families in the city of Nili, and 936 other families in the village of Kiso in the Kiti district have been surveyed in two stages.

Alavi added that food aid has been distributed to 1,830 families by the (WFP). Assistance was also provided to 124 other families in the second phase. These include flour, oil, salt and other first aid. The UNHCR has provided assistance to 411 families in the Qakhoor area of central Pato and 592 families in the village of Kiso in Kati district, UNHCR

Alavi acknowledged the lack of electricity in the IDP camp, but added that efforts were being made by Breshna to provide electricity to the camp. He denied the lack of drinking water, baths, toilets and lack of clothing in the IDP camps, and said aid needed had been distributed to the displaced.

This comes even as MSF Helmand project coordinator expressed concern about the rising violence. “There has been relentless gunfire, air strikes and mortars in densely populated areas. Houses are being bombed, and many people are suffering severe injuries,” says Sarah Leahy, coordinator of the MSF Helmand project.

“Fighting within the city makes it harder for us to respond; our staff are part of the community and they, like many people, are afraid to leave their homes. It’s just far too dangerous and life is at a standstill,” says Leahy.

“Some of our colleagues are staying overnight in the hospital so they can keep on treating patients. The situation has been dire for months but now it is even worse.” Despite the challenges, the MSF-supported Boost hospital remains operational and has seen a marked increase in trauma needs over the past week. “In just one day we performed 10 surgeries on people injured by violence, which is unheard of for us as we are not Lashkargah’s main provider of trauma care,” says Leahy. “Before last week we were operating on average on two war-wounded people per day.”

The main trauma centre in the city is run by another organisation, and is also under immense pressure; the people they cannot admit are sent to MSF for care. Between 29 and 31 July alone, MSF treated 70 war-wounded patients. In total from 3 May until 31 July, we have treated 482 war-wounded people, nearly all (92 per cent) for injuries caused by shells and bullets, and around a quarter (26 per cent) aged under 18. The patients seen by MSF are just a fraction of the total number injured by the violence.

“The fighting exacerbates health needs beyond trauma care. Given the lack of well-functioning and affordable medical facilities in Helmand, people rely on the 300-bed Boost hospital, the only referral hospital in the province, for essential neonatal, paediatric, inpatient, intensive care, maternity, malnutrition, and surgical services among others. Since May, however, MSF staff have witnessed an alarming increase in the severity of patients’ illnesses when they arrive at the hospital. People have described how, despite needing medical care, they have been forced to wait at home until the fighting subsides or to take dangerous alternate routes. With fighting taking place not far from Boost hospital, and people too afraid to leave their homes due to the violence, access to healthcare is dangerously limited,” said Leahy.

Also, as per International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), hundreds of thousands of civilians are at risk as fighting intensifies in and around Kunduz, Lashkargah, Kandahar, and other Afghan cities. ICRC is calling on both parties to the conflict for immediate restraint. The ICRC calls for civilians and vital infrastructure such as hospitals to be protected from attack and any collateral damage caused by fighting in populated areas.

Since 1 August, 4,042 patients wounded by weapons have been treated at 15 -supported health facilities, an indication of the intensity of the recent violence. “We are seeing homes destroyed, medical staff and patients put at tremendous risk, and hospitals, electricity and water infrastructure damaged,” said Eloi Fillion, ICRC’s head of delegation in Afghanistan. “The use of explosive weaponry in cities is having an indiscriminate impact on the population beyond its target. Many families have no option but to flee in search of a safer place. This must stop.”

“Health-care facilities, medical workers, and ambulances must be spared at all cost,” said Fillion. “We also call on all fighting parties to allow humanitarian organisations like the ICRC and ARCS to safely evacuate the injured and bring much-needed assistance to the civilian population.”

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