UN Says 35,000 People Displaced In Helmand Clashes

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said on Tuesday that the clashes near the Helmand provincial centre has reportedly displaced about 35,000 people according to initial estimates from local authorities.

Authorities also said that nearly 200 people were killed or injured, and the numbers could change as the Afghan security forces launched a counteroffensive.

The Taliban assault on Helman is the first major offensive by the group since the start of the peace negotiations in Doha, and one of the biggest since the they signed the deal with the U.S. in February.

Several health facilities are reportedly closed, while others are only addressing trauma cases.

Access to Lashkar Gah is limited, with the main road connecting it to Kandahar city inaccessible.

Electricity has also reportedly been cut in parts of both provinces. Telephone networks are also affected impacting humanitarian assessment teams’ communications.

Since Sunday, provincial officials have reported that parts of the city have fallen to the Taliban along with the military bases.

The Helmand governor’s office said on Tuesday that Afghan forces were able to take back five checkpoints from Taliban control.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Wednesday, October 14 2020