By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: MSF Afghanistan (Doctors Without Borders) reported Monday that heavy fighting is ongoing in the country’s southern Helmand province and that the Lashkargah provincial hospital is overwhelmed with wounded patients.
In a message on Twitter, MSF stated: “The city’s Trauma Hospital was overwhelmed and MSF teams in nearby Boost Provincial Hospital are supporting with overflow of patients.”
MSF also stated that a pregnant woman was shot on Sunday night and the bullet killed her unborn child.
“Fighting is on-going. Last night, a stray bullet hit a pregnant woman and killed the baby. Miraculously the mother survived and is now receiving maternal and surgical care after a life-saving operation”, said Mariana Cortesi, MSF hospital coordinator.
Earlier Monday the US-Forces Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett confirmed American forces have conducted several targeted strikes in Helmand over the past two days to defend Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who have come under attack by the Taliban.
In a series of tweets, he said this was in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement and that USFOR-A has and will continue to provide support in defense of the ANDSF under attack by the Taliban.
US-Forces Afghanistan Commander, General Scott Miller said: “The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country. It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks.”
This announcement comes amid intense fighting in the southern province which started on Saturday night when the Taliban launched coordinated attacks on a number of areas.
Since then hundreds of residents, in various districts and in areas on the outskirts of the provincial capital Lashkargah have fled their homes.
Provincial officials also confirmed late Monday that the Dorahi power plant in Helmand had been destroyed by the Taliban – cutting power to parts of Helmand and Kandahar.
Not only did the insurgents set fire to a part of the power plant but they also reportedly ordered locals to strip the facility of equipment.
Reports of similar orders by the Taliban were posted on social media throughout the day, where Helmand residents said the group had ordered local residents to strip a military base that they had overrun between Nad Ali and Marjah districts.
Roland Kobia, the EU’s special envoy to Afghanistan meanwhile condemned the violence and said on Twitter: “Yet another example that the Reduction in Violence does not work. These high levels of violence should not only be condemned but concretely taken action against as they breach Doha [agreement between the US and Taliban].”