Fighting erupts across Afghanistan as Taliban launch offensive after US misses May 1 deadline

Kabul [Afghanistan], May 6 (ANI): Taliban have launched a new wave of offensive in several Afghan cities and are resorting to bombings and heavy weapons after the United States missed May 1 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Several cities around Afghanistan are witnessing the wrath of the Taliban's attacks. The Afghan forces have suffered heavy casualties in the past few days as they fought back the terror group offensive.

At least 11 Afghan security forces members were killed in terrorists' attacks in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday night, authorities confirmed on Thursday.

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

"There was a thunderstorm of heavy weapons and blasts in the city and the sound of small arms was like someone was making popcorn," The News International quoted Mulah Jan, a resident of a suburb of Helmand provincial capital Lashkar Gah, as saying.

"I took all my family members to the corner of the room, hearing the heavy blasts and bursts of gunfire as if it was happening behind our walls," he said. Families that could afford to leave had fled, but he had been unable to go, waiting with his family in fear before the Taliban were pushed back.

Attaullah Afghan, the head of Helmand's provincial council, said the Taliban had launched their huge offensive on Monday from multiple directions, attacking checkpoints around the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, taking over some of them.

US forces missed the May 1 deadline to withdraw troops. The May 1 deadline for US troops to pull out was agreed to last year under former President Donald Trump.

US President Joe Biden announced last month the decision to withdraw troops from the country starting on that May 1 deadline, with the aim of completely withdrawing from Afghanistan by September 11, which would mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that sparked the war in Afghanistan, the longest conflict in American history.

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.

Last week on Thursday, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the US has begun pulling out its forces from Afghanistan.

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. (ANI) 



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