The Taliban has been gaining ground in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan for months, but in the past couple of weeks, a sense of relative calm has returned, as the military has largely not launched counter-attacks and the Taliban shored up control over already taken territory.
On Friday, this calm came to an end, as Taliban forces started pushing into Lashkar Gah. The fighting grew in intensity over the weekend, and at least two police checkpoints were overrun by sheer numbers of Taliban fighters.
The Afghan Defense Ministry claimed to have largely held them off with air force and artillery, and said they’d killed at least 43 militants over the course of the last three days. Seven Afghan soldiers were also killed in the attacks.
The Afghan military has redeployed troops out of much of the Helmand Province during the spring offensive, saying they don’t have enough troops to properly defend everything. This is doubly true because studies have shown a large portion of the Afghan military exists only on paper, with many “ghost soldiers” invented to draw a salary that can be embezzled by officials.
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