The Afghan government has come under scathing attack from lawmakers and analysts as two more districts fell to the Taliban in the last 24 hours.
The centers of Jaghato and Band Ab districts in Ghazni, and Dawlatabad district in Faryab, have fallen to the Taliban, according to provincial council members and local sources.
However, the Defense Ministry has said that these areas were “evacuated” or that security forces “retreated to protect civilians.”
Sources said that 17 districts have fallen to the Taliban in the last two months.
“We are concerned about Muqur and Rashidan districts (in Ghazni), which are under siege. Security forces sustained high casualties in Muqur,” said Arif Rahmani, an MP from Ghazni.
The centers of Burka district in Baghlan, Narkh and Jalrez districts in Maidan Wardak, Dawlat Shah district in Laghman, Qaisar district in Faryab, Shahrak district in Ghor and Shirzad district in Uruzgan have fallen to the Taliban in less than two months.
The Taliban claims they have also captured Charkh district in Logar, Do Ab and Mandol districts in Nuristan, Farsi district in Herat, Deh Yak district in Ghazni, Gezab district in Daikundi and Shinkai district in Zabul.
“You are busy on districts. Provinces will fall after 10 to 15 days. Many provinces are under siege. They do not receive equipment and facilities and security forces are not observing their leaves; their wounded and martyrs are not being transferred… They have no option but to leave,” said Hashim Alokozai, the head of the defense commission of the Senate.
“It has been proven that being on the defensive is not active. The government should change the method of war and should go into an offensive mode, rather than defensive,” said Hayatullah Elmi, an MP from Samangan.
Former interior minister General Massoud Andarabi said there is a need to pay more attention to the peace process at this critical juncture.
“If we put everything on the security sector, it will be difficult for them to get out of the situation,” Andarabi said.
Ordinary Afghans commented that the government has failed to provide support to security forces in some areas.
“Twenty districts have fallen but the government is silent and is not addressing anything. We call on the government to find a fundamental solution,” said Mir Salamuddin, a Kabul resident.
“The government does not have a plan for our security forces who are martyred every day,” said Mohammad Kabir, a Kabul resident.
Sources from security agencies said Taliban casualties on the battlefield are higher than those of Afghan forces, but some sources tell TOLOnews that the security forces casualties are nearly 100 each day.
“Security forces have comprehensive plans for suppressing the enemy and retaking the areas. Soon you will witness a change in those areas,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai.
DEMINERS KILLED: At least 10 deminers from the HALO Trust were killed and 16 were wounded in a gun attack on their office in the northern province of Baghlan on Tuesday night, a security official said.
The incident happened in Baghlan-e-Marzaki district of the province. The bodies and the wounded deminers were taken to a hospital in Pul-e-Khumri City, the center of Baghlan.
Interior Affairs Ministry’s spokesman Tariq Arian blamed the Taliban for the attack.
The Taliban has denied its involvement in the attack.