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World

Fighting between Taliban, Afghan forces resume in Southern Afghanistan after ceasefire ends

  • Attaullah Afghan says Taliban fighters attacked security checkpoints on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah and other districts
  • Violence intensified in Afghanistan after the United States missed a May 1 deadline, agreed with the Taliban last year, to withdraw all of its troops
Updated 16 May 2021

(Karachi) Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan forces resumed in southern Afghanistan after an end to three-day ceasefire deadline, local media reported on Sunday.

Head of the Helmand provincial council Attaullah Afghan said that the fighting started early Sunday morning and is still ongoing. He added the Taliban fighters attacked security checkpoints on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah and other districts.

There are reports of heavy exchange of fire between the two sides while the number of casualties and injuries could not be confirmed as yet.

Violence intensified in Afghanistan after the United States missed a May 1 deadline, agreed with the Taliban last year, to withdraw all of its troops. Later, a three-day ceasefire agreed by the warring Taliban and Afghan government came into force during Eidul Fitr.

Earlier, United States President Joe Biden has said that withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the May 1 deadline would be 'hard to meet'. The president cited "tactical reasons" for the delay, but clarified it is not the US government's intention to keep the troops for a long time in the war-torn country.

He said that it is necessary for US soldiers to leave Afghanistan in a safe and orderly manner.

As part of an agreement negotiated by the Trump administration, the United States is supposed to pull out all its troops by May 1 after a deal was reached between the Taliban and Afghan administration agreeing to hold peace talks.

However, the peace process stalled due to an increase in violent attacks on Afghan and allied forces in Afghanistan.

Head of US Army Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie said the Taliban are responsible for violence in Afghanistan, with civilians and Afghan security forces taking the brunt of the bloodshed.

However, the Taliban denied being behind the violence, saying those responsible are other militant groups.