Dozens flee as Afghanistan’s army launches counterattack against Taliban in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, residents say.
There has been intense fighting in Afghanistan in recent days, mainly in the south and the west, while a bomb-and-gun attack in capital Kabul has killed at least eight people.
Several attacks have struck the capital city in the past 24 hours, including a bomb blast on Wednesday morning, but no group has claimed responsibility.
Fighting in the country escalated after the US and NATO decided to withdraw their troops from the country by August 31 20 years after they invaded to overthrow the Taliban.
The Taliban armed group is trying to seize provincial capitals after already taking smaller administrative districts in recent months.
Here are the latest updates:
Afghans flee homes in key southern city
Families have fled their homes in the southern city of Lashkar Gah as the Afghan army launched a major counterattack against the Taliban, residents said.
But many remained stuck in the crossfire as the armed group continue to control vast swathes of land.
Dozens of civilians have already died in the intense battle for Lashkar Gah, a city of 200,000 people that would be the Taliban’s biggest prize since they launched a nationwide offensive in May.
How do Afghanistan and Taliban forces compare?
Though the Taliban now controls about half of Afghanistan’s districts, analysts and officials say their military victory is far from guaranteed, pointing to the ability and resources of the Afghan defence forces, who remain in control of key cities.
Read more about how the two forces compare.
Roadside bomb blast in Kabul wounds three
A roadside blast in Kabul has wounded three people, police say, a day after a deadly attack targeted the country’s defence minister and legislators in the Afghan capital.
The blast “occurred near the Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled” offices, police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said.
Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor, James Bays, reporting from Kabul, said there was a “very loud explosion” as he was in a vehicle some 300 metres away from the defence minister’s residence on Tuesday.
There was a “jolt to the car”, and a “big plume of smoke” erupted, Bays said.
It took many hours for the Afghan security forces to secure the scene of the “complex attack”, he added.
Pakistan: 90 percent of fencing along Afghan border completed
Pakistan’s military says it has completed 90 percent of a fence being constructed along the border with Afghanistan, vowing to complete the project this summer.
Pakistan says it is constructing the fence – which it started in 2017 – to prevent cross-border militant attacks. The military has installed surveillance cameras to check any movement along the border.