Kabul [Afghanistan], May 9 (ANI): Amid the ongoing drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, the war-torn country has seen a spike in the incidents of violence in recent weeks, leading to casualties of Afghan security forces and civilians.
Afghan security officials on Saturday said that the Taliban in the past week tried to take over some strategic areas in at least six provinces of the country, but security forces repelled their offensives.
Over 1,000 Taliban terrorists have been killed and wounded in several encounters with the Afghan security forces during this period in Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Herat and Baghlan provinces, said General Yasin Zia, the Afghan Chief of Army Staff.
Alongside Ghazni city, Khawja Omari, Jaghato, Waghaz and Khogyani districts have also faced deadly battles in the past days. Meanwhile, local officials in Baghlan said that hundreds of people have taken up arms to fight the Taliban.
Afghan Ministry of Defence said that offensive operations have been launched to eliminate the Taliban in areas under their control. It added that at least 250 Taliban fighters were killed in at least seven provinces in the last 24 hours and thousands more in the last four months.
The Taliban, however, has rejected the Afghan Defence Ministry report that they had suffered significant losses due to heavy fighting over the first four months of this year.
According to the ministry's data, the period in question was the deadliest for the Taliban, as 6,320 group members were killed and 2,790 others were injured in clashes in different provinces across the country. The highest number of casualties in the past four months -- 2,099 -- was reported in the southern Kandahar province, as reported by Sputnik.
Amid this surge in violence, US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday had said that the United States will stand with Afghans who support the Republic if the Taliban do not choose peace.
"If the Taliban do not choose peace, a future based on consensus and compromise, then we will stand with Afghans who strive to keep the Republic intact," Khalilzad had said in a tweet. (ANI)