Baghlan-Kunduz Highway Under Taliban Threat

HighwayStoryAug22

Taliban insurgents have closed off the Baghlan-Kunduz highway in the Aliabad district of Kunduz, essentially minimizing traffic into or out of the provincial capital, local officials confirmed Monday.

Tariq Majidi, TOLOnews reporter who is in the area, said insurgents have created check posts along the key route and are stopping everyone travelling through the area.

He said the insurgents searching motorists, passengers and pedestrians in order to make sure no security force members get through their blockade to Kunduz city.

Local officials have confirmed the Taliban has created check posts in the Aliabad district, which is close to Kunduz city, and are searching all vehicles and people.

In addition to this, the Taliban also destroyed the key Alchin Bridge which links Kunduz city with Shir Khan Bandar, Imam Sahib, Dasht-e-Archi and Qala-e-Zal districts of the province.

But Shirzai Hamid, TOLOnews’ reporter in Baghlan, said people are now avoiding the highway and using informal tracks to get in and out of Kunduz city.

He said insurgents are searching “all motorists, all people, (and even checking) their shoes and IDs to prevent government employees, especially security forces, from entering the city.”

Highways, including the Kunduz-Baghlan route and the Khanabad road have seen a sharp drop in security in the past week after the Taliban increased their attacks in the surrounding areas.

Early Saturday, the insurgents attacked Khanabad and took control of the district for several hours but were eventually driven back by security forces.

TOLOnews correspondents report that currently security forces are in clashes with Taliban insurgents in Aliabad, Khanabad districts and on the outskirts of Kunduz city.

Sediqi Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, on Monday confirmed clashes were ongoing and but said “there are enough troops in Kunduz city and (in districts) fighting the insurgents.”

Sediqqi also said the U.S air force carried out strikes in some parts of Aliabad in which 22 insurgents were killed. Among those dead are Qari Nasir and Qari Omar, two Taliban commanders.

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