PressTV have reported that Omar Zawak, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor, warned on Tuesday that the provincial capital was struggling to cope with an influx of people fleeing fierce fighting between the Taliban and government forces.
“Around 30,000 people have been displaced in Helmand in the past several weeks. Most of them are coming to Lashkar Gah,” Zawak said, adding, “It [is] difficult for the city to contain all of them. Families, children, women, all have to sleep on the streets. There is a shortage of food and clean water. We need urgent support.”
With the influx of refugees to the provincial capital, the Taliban are expanding their control across the opium-rich region. They now control 10 out of 14 districts and it is believed it is only a matter of time till they take the provincial capital and the rest of the region.
Meanwhile, a NATO statement has highlighted the desperate situation in Helmand Province.
“The situation down there remains tense and somewhat contested,” the statement read, adding, “It remains an ongoing security concern and there has been fighting down there for the last several weeks. We remain confident that the Afghan forces are fighting effectively and that they will continue to secure Lashkar Gah.”
Panicked residents have also expressed fears that Lashkar Gah could fall.
“The Taliban are in control of all the roads leading to Lashkar Gah,” AFP quoted resident Haji Qayum as saying, adding, “The police check posts are falling one by one. There is a great fear the capital may fall to the Taliban.”