Afghan officials said today that heavy fighting has broken out in several provinces of the country, with government forces killing hundreds of militants from the Taliban militia. The United States has announced the completion of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of August.
AFP reports that the Afghan Defense Ministry said today that more than 300 Taliban militants have been killed in the past 24 hours in crossfire with government forces.
Dozens were killed by airstrikes, including a dawn attack today in the southern province of Helmand. Insurgents and government forces have been fighting regularly in Helmand.
There is concern that without U.S. air support, Afghan government forces may not be able to hold out.
Attaullah Afghan, the speaker of the provincial council in Hemand, said, “In recent days, the Afghan Air Force has intensively attacked Taliban hideouts and caused heavy insurgent casualties.”
The two sides often exaggerate each other’s deaths and injuries, and their claims are difficult to substantiate.
But since May 1, when U.S. troops began withdrawing their 2,500-strong presence, fierce fighting has broken out between Afghan government forces and insurgents in the rugged countryside.
And the Taliban have captured dozens of districts after launching a series of heavy attacks on government forces.