Afghani locals in a internally displaced persons camp called the Sakhi Camp in Mazar-e Sharif, Kandahar, Afghanistan gather to collect their portion of humanitarian aid offered by Doctors without Borders organization.

On Thursday (7th Jan 2021) alone, at least 10 people are known to have been killed in Kandahar, with about half of them being civilians. Due to heavy fighting between the Taliban, and government forces, about 17000 Afghan families left their homes in Kandahar, where the Taliban has a stronghold.

The Taliban and government forces have clashed regularly since October in the Southern province of Afghanistan, the birthplace of the hardline Taliban movement.

Taliban insurgents have launched continuous attacks in the outskirts of the provincial capital Kandahar city, it still remains in the control of Afghan forces. Dost Mohammad Nayab, director of the Kandahar Refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP) Department has told AFP that about 7,000 of the families or 35,000 residents from these districts have taken refuge in the capital, due to fighting in Kandahar, while the other 10,000 displaced families have sought to live in surrounding towns and villages.

Dost Muhammad Nayab has said that they have set up camps and tents in several parts of the city for those families. They also provide only basic food items to about 2,000 families who fled their homes.

One of the displaced persons from Kandahar told AFP that they only have a tent but there is no heater for them and they are freezing because of the cold. Such are the consequences of violence on the lives of innocent civilians.

The second round of peace talks between the two warring sides resumed on Wednesday in the Qatari capital of Doha. In the second round of talks, the Afghan government negotiators will push for a permanent ceasefire, and to protect existing governance arrangements in place.

Amrullah Saleh, First Vice President of Afghanistan, has said in a speech on Thursday that they (the government) want a ceasefire but are aware of the facts. Based on that, the peace talks will take time. He further explained that the negotiations were at a critical stage.


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