Afghanistan

Flash Update 6 – Fighting, displacement and civilian casualties in Southern Afghanistan (1 November 2020)

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

• Heavy fighting continues in southern Afghanistan across Hilmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces, affecting thousands of people.

• Assessment teams are continuing their work to gauge the humanitarian impact of the situation. To date, 11,663 IDP have been verified in Hilmand and thousands of people are believed to be displaced in Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces, with assessments ongoing.

SITUATION OVERVIEW:

Hilmand

Fighting that started on 11 October between the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and a nonstate armed group (NSAG) has carried on for more than two weeks near Lashkargah city in Hilmand province. The security situation in the area remains volatile. Military operations took place in several areas on 31 October. Fighting reportedly continued on Saturday in Babaje and Basharan in Lashkargah’s PD3, Chahanjir in Nad-e-Ali district and Nawa-e-Barakzaiy district. Fighting has also been reported in Nahr-e-Saraj along route 601 – an important route connecting Lashkargah in Hilmand with the city of Kandahar to the east.
The presence of IEDs planted on main roads continues to hinder movement, with additional devices reportedly placed along the Lashkargah – Nawa-e-Barakzaiy road. The Lashkargah – Kandahar highway and the roads connecting Lashkargah to Nawa-e-Barakzaiy, Nad-e-Ali/Marja and Nahr-e-Saraj also remain closed to civilians due to the danger posed by IEDs, the presence of NSAG checkpoints, and physical damage to infrastructure such as culverts. However, people continue to use other routes in NSAG controlled areas.

Kandahar

According to reports received on 27 October, the fighting between ANSF and an NSAG continues to spread to Kandahar Province as the NSAG has reportedly entered Arghandab, Panjwaiy and Zharey districts. Moreover, military operations and airstrikes are ongoing in the area. The key roads connecting Kandahar city to Arghandab, Panjwaiy and Zharey are closed due to the presence of IEDs and physical damage to infrastructure such as culverts, however people are using other routes for movement. Additionally, it has been reported that the NSAG has, in some cases, allowed for civilian movement for essential reasons only.

Uruzgan

The security situation in Uruzgan remains volatile with fighting reported in Dehrawud and Gizab districts on 28 October. As of 31 October, the fighting was ongoing with several military operations and airstrikes conducted over the past few days. The key routes to Dehrawud and Gizab districts have been inaccessible to civilians due to the presence of IEDs and destroyed culverts. However, people continue to use other routes in NSAG controlled areas.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.