‘Shot at by both sides’: Families flee as Taliban battles for territory in Kandahar

Villages in southern Afghanistan have become frontline of conflict as peace talks stall and uncertainty surrounds US withdrawal

The people who lived in Spairwan village spent two days huddled in their homes, besieged by fighting, before the Taliban came and told them all to leave the area. Qayoom and his family were among 10,000 families pushed out of their homes as government and Taliban forces battled for territory in southern Afghanistan last month.

Qayoom found his new home was to be a couple of large sheets propped up over cold, bare earth, a shelter among many others in a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) on the outskirts of Kandahar city. But the shelter barely checks the icy blasts of bitter winter winds.

Continue reading…