The Taliban are surrounding Lashkar Gah the capital of Helmand Province. While military commanders claim the situation has stabilized, city officials are more pessimistic.
|Provincial council chief Karim Atal said: "If we don’t receive support from the central government, the province will collapse soon". While Atal said that the Afghan security forces were capable, he complained there was a lack of attention to the situation by leaders in Kabul. The past month much attention has been paid to a campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in eastern Afghanistan. Atal said that if the government does not show support for Helmand the people would be asked to take up weapons and fight the Taliban. However, Atal said that forces had been brought back from checkpoints further afield to reinforce those in Lashkar Gah.|