WION Ground Report: Third largest city of Afghanistan fears Taliban takeover | Herat | English News

WION Ground Report: Third largest city of Afghanistan fears Taliban takeover | Herat | English News

the situation in hera the third largest city in afghanistan remains precarious it is also home to the tajik minority in afghanistan the taliban continues to make rapid territorial gains viance pakistan bureau chief anas malik reports from the heart of the conflict take a look the third largest city of afghanistan is under siege and it fears a taliban takeover located in the western part of the country herat is home to tajik minorities of the country a minority which is a majority in this part of the country herat is almost an hour-long flight from kabul one can take the road as well to do the 800 plus kilometer drive which can take up to 14 hours but road travel is far too dangerous the frequent kidnappings territorial war and the ongoing battle between afghan government forces and the taliban make the road trip deadly the city wears a deserted look there’s a general tension but with lesser or almost no visible military presence on the roads [Music] one would barely spot two or three afghan army vehicles on the streets of herat the markets are closed there’s fear in the air which one can feel as they arrive a drive around the city shows no-go areas marked clearly demarcated within the city itself there has been a fierce battle going on for the past 12 days for taking over the cities the militia of ismail khan can be spotted in abundance on the roads of herat they control the areas of the government mostly with the support of the afghan army ismail khan a former mujahideen leader took up arms with the intent to protect his city at all costs the militia guards the place eats and sleeps and repeats the routine at the same place the commander of this post of the militia says that they will resist i am the commander of this group here hirat for now is at the front line of the fight we are 100 ready for the fight and the taliban are threatened by us not just me but all the security forces are ready to give the taliban a tough fight city’s jihad joke was claimed to have been overrun by the taliban days ago although shops were shot in the market around life went on as we could see as night fell we were advised to return to our accommodation by 4 pm as the fighting commences towards evening and the advice was timely and necessary the fighting did indeed begin a little after 4 pm and intensified with distant multiple explosions in the city being heard around 8 pm the following morning we visited the tense areas where there were clashes the night before there was damage to the security forces the residents who are fearful of a taliban takeover remain thankful to both the militia and the army both my name is amir mohammed i’m a resident of herald we’re thankful to all the armies who are here had they not been here our country would have been broken into stolen into and dropped by these enemies these fearless people are fighting for their land they have defeated the enemy countless times the taliban get out of their bin like a rat they shoot and run back our army have been giving a tough fight to the taliban and we have full faith in them that they would prevent the taliban from overrunning our country my name that has the door is gandhar since the last 10 days the army has been guarding us day in and day out we are fed up with the ongoing situation we live in a fear that what if a rocket lands at my shop or what if the taliban takes over my property the army have been standing and guarding us day and night i’m not concerned with the fight this needs to stop whomever believes they are on the right track god will give them victory our economy and sales are at zero because nobody is showing up at the shop out near the army’s position the militia is also holed up having taken up position on the rooftop of an evacuated house just across from these positions they say is the taliban unleashing their attack herat also leads to the border with iran the city is known as mini iran for its persian influence that can be found in abundance within the city the border of islam kala is now under taliban rule the road to it looked pretty clean islam kala is a two-hour drive from hirata city the taliban are pretty much within the city their modus operandi is to have their own operative ghettos or no-go areas which seem to be prevalent in herat while on route to a location this roadblock was put up by the taliban and at least two talibs could be seen at the roadside the un office was recently attacked as well a checkpost that lies on route was also attacked first the taliban said it was crossfire a claim that was strongly rebutted by the un reminding that this was tantamount to a war crime in between at the city center the militia gears up for an assault to reclaim an area from the taliban the militia is gearing up for an assault in order to take back the areas that have been overrun by the taliban overnight they’re prepared they’re geared up they have one of the armored vehicles but they’re mostly in local means of transportation with the aim to not let their city fall at all costs anasmalik in hirat afghanistan for beyond what is one the ongoing assault has forced families to relocate after abandoning their houses the rooftops of which are now being used by the militia at the kabul airport hundreds can be seen trying to flee to safer destinations their number is staggering stand the people believe in protecting the gains of the past 20 years in hirat there is a sense of insecurity these roads which are hustling and bustling this very market where i’m standing this would wear a deserted look come 4pm when the fighting commences the fighting intensifies from 8pm till around 11 then we see airstrikes and around 2 am in the night the fighting stops this is the daily cycle taliban try to overrun the city every single day they are pushed back by the militia even last night i heard multiple explosions here the people over here are adamant and believe that they would be able to push back the taliban and prevent them from overtaking the city and in order to protect the gains of the past 20 years the ismail khan is a former mujahideen commander he is leading or rather heading the militia of 6 000 strong men those who comprise of nearby villages villages those villages which have been overrun by the taliban in the hope that life would be better in herat hundreds are fleeing the western city bureau report we on world is one we on world is one is now available in your country download the app now and get all the news updates on the move
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WION Ground Report: Third largest city of Afghanistan fears Taliban takeover | Herat | English News

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