Over 6,000 families have been displaced in Kunduz province, local officials in the province said as the prospect to end the violence in the country remains uncertain.
On Sunday night the Taliban launched an attack on an Afghan Army base in the province and seized it after a fierce battle with the Afghan security forces.
Footage received from Kunduz shows that people living on both sides of the main highway have fled their homes and are trying to settle in the outskirts of Kunduz city.
Media reports indicate that hundreds of other families are also preparing to leave Imam Sahib district, fearing battles between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban.
“People were displaced in areas like Sujakhel—there were bombardments,” said Sayed Ahmad, a resident in Imam Sahib district.
“The government can’t do anything—supplies do not reach these poor (Afghan forces). There are Taliban on the way and they seize food as they go,” said Manan, a driver in Kunduz.
The provincial government confirms:
“People were displaced in Imam Sahib and Khan Abad districts due to war and violence,” said Esmatullah Murad, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor.
“Kunduz is in a fragile situation, districts are under siege,” said Abdul Khalil Qarizada, a member of Kunduz’s provincial council.
Displaced residents speak about ordeal:
“Nothing is left for us, this is now the third day that we are living without shelter and food,” said a displaced woman in Kunduz.
“No one is there to help us, no one is there to inquire about our situation–whether we have food to eat or not, whether we are alive or dead,” said Faiz Mohammad, a displaced resident.
Last week, local officials in Kunduz criticized the security agencies over their reluctance to launch large scale military operations against the insurgents in the area.
“The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces have a strong presence in Kunduz, the situation will get back to normal in Kunduz very soon, particularly on Kunduz-Khan Abad highway,” said Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.
However, local people in Kunduz have warned that all routes connecting districts to the center of the province are under a serious security threat.
They said that Kunduz will fall to the Taliban for a third time if the government does not take timely action against the insurgents.
Violence grips Kunduz amid renewed efforts for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
On Monday, a six-member delegation of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar led by deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Pakistan to consult with Pakistani officials on Afghan peace.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that the Taliban chief has finalized a negotiating team that is to have decision-making powers in upcoming intra-Afghan negotiations, a top Taliban negotiator told The Associated Press.