Kabul: As deadly clashes in Afghanistan continue to intensify, hundreds of more civilians have taken up arms against the Taliban in support of the government forces in Herat, Patkia, Ghor and Kunduz provinces.
According to TOLO News, the people who have taken up arms said they will not allow their villages to fall to the Taliban and said that the terrorist group would damage the country’s infrastructure. So far, hundreds of people have taken up arms against the Taliban in many provinces, including Takhar, Balkh, Badghis, Baghlan, Nangarhar and Laghman.
People in over ten Afghan districts have taken up arms against the Taliban in just a week following the back-to-back fall of dozens of districts to the group.
Meanwhile, sources informed that five districts have fallen to the Taliban since Saturday – including Sayed Abad and Chak-e-Wardak in Maidan Wardak, Rustaq in Takhar, Arghistan in Kandahar and Shortepa in Balkh.
During this period, the government forces reported some progress but have not been able to recapture any district.
“Paktia residents pledge to the government and the security agencies that we are with you,” said Abdul Mallik Zazai, head of the provincial council in Paktia.
Meanwhile, some residents of Enjil district in Herat who have taken up arms warned the Taliban to quit violence or they will face resistance from the people. “We pledge to the people that we will defend the country until the last drop of our blood,” Farid Ahmad, a public uprising force member.
Some Afghan politicians said that arming the people is a serious need given the current situation and they welcome this move, but they expressed their concerns about its consequences if the forces are not managed well, TOLO News reported.
“Those who lead these forces should be responsible so that when the fighting is over they will not create any problems for Afghanistan,” said Asadullah Saadati, the deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
On the other hand, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense assured that the activities of the public forces will be well managed. “The mobilization of the people in support of the security and defense forces has had a considerable role in retaking territories, especially in the north, and has prevented the fall of some areas,” Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said.
Meanwhile, the Taliban have warned those who have taken up arms against the group and said that they will not be forgiven, TOLO News reported.
As the deadline of the US drawdown from Afghanistan draws near, a senior member of the Taliban has stressed that the group has been continuing to urge the Washington States to honour a peace deal struck by the two sides in February 2020.
After the meeting between US President Joe Biden, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, the White House on Friday announced a series of measures to provide assistance to the South Asian country amid troop withdrawal.
Biden had earlier announced that the US will start its final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on May 1 and complete its pullout ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The withdrawal could be well ahead of the deadline.