Afghan security forces were being deployed to the southern city of Lashkar Gah on August 10 amid an intensified fight against the Taliban and fears that the capital of Helmand Province could fall under the control of militants within days.
Kareem Atal, the head of Helmand’s provincial council, said on August 10 that Taliban fighters had completely surrounded Lashkar Gah and that security forces have been pulled back from checkpoints outside of the city as reinforcements.
Atal also said “new forces” were arriving in the city on August 10.
The fighting has closed all highways leading into Lashkar Gah, causing food prices to rise inside the city.
Two of the Lashkar Gah’s previously stable districts -- Nawa and Garmser -- were the scene of heavy fighting on August 10.
Afghan forces reportedly were struggling there to hold off Taliban fighters who have gained ground since the end of July -- despite air strikes by U.S. and Afghan warplanes.
Fighting also has been reported in the city’s Nad-e Ali district.