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Taliban step up attacks on key cities in southern and western Afghanistan

Amin Alemi
Press TV, Kabul

After gaining control over more than 200 districts in Afghanistan, the Taliban now seem to have a bigger plan that is capturing provincial centers across some strategic areas of the country.

The militants recently launched heavy attacks on centers of Herat, Kandahar and Helmand provinces in western and southern Afghanistan but Afghan forces mainly the commando troops and Afghan air force plus local armed fronts pushed back the Taliban from the entrance gates of these strategic cities.

Mohammad Ismail Khan – locally known as Amir Saib – is 78 years old. He is a popular political and Jihadi Leader in Afghanistan. He and thousands of his followers have decided to pick up guns and defend their home city, Herat in western Afghanistan which was on the verge of collapse by Taliban.

Ismail Khan believes that one of the main reasons behind the sharp advances of Taliban is the legitimacy granted to them by Washington under the US-Taliban Doha deal.

The Taliban have so far failed to gain control over provincial centers in southern and western Afghanistan but the rise of war has prompted thousands of local villagers to flee their houses in search of shelter.

In such circumstances, the Afghan government simultaneously insists on continuation of peace talks with the Taliban negotiating team in Doha and strengthening war fronts against the Taliban to retake the lost areas that cover nearly half of districts in Afghanistan.

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