Thousands of Afghans displaced

2010-09-29 21:22

Kandahar - Hundreds of families have been displaced by fierce clashes in southern Afghanistan as Nato-led forces fight to eradicate the Taliban from the militants' heartland, officials said on Wednesday.

People are fleeing insurgent-infested districts around Kandahar as Afghan and US-led Nato forces step up military operations against the Taliban, said the director of Kandahar's refugee department, Mohammad Azim Nawabi.

"More than 900 families have arrived from Arghandab and Zhari districts to Kandahar city in the past month," Nawabi told AFP.

"People are still fleeing their villages and are in a very bad state when they arrive," he said, adding that many of the refugees were empty-handed.

More than 7 000 Nato and Afghan troops launched a major military offensive code-named Operation Dragon Strike around Kandahar city last week, said the commander of the foreign forces, US General David Petraeus.

Dragon Strike is the latest phase of Operation Hamkari - launched around five months ago - a last-ditch effort to eliminate the Taliban from Kandahar and the surrounding areas of Zhari, Panjwayi and Arghandab.

These areas had been "safe havens for the Taliban for over five years," Petraeus told AFP on Tuesday.

Lethal haunts

Nawabi said many of the displaced families were able to find accommodation with relatives living in Kandahar.

Others were being helped by local and international charities, as well as the Kandahar city and provincial authorities, he said.

Authorities put the average family size at five, but Afghan families are generally large and extended, encompassing three or four generations and many children.

Nawabi was not able to give an exact figure on the number of people fleeing the regions where fighting is fiercest.

The three areas - Arghandab, northwest of Kandahar city, and Panjwayi and Zhari to the west - have long been considered lethal Taliban haunts, mined with bombs that cause the overwhelming majority of deaths among foreign troops.

Clearing Kandahar of insurgents is seen as pivotal to the counter-insurgency strategy, which Petraeus described as a "comprehensive civil-military campaign".

It builds up to July 2011, which US President Barack Obama has laid down as the deadline for starting to draw down US troops - though both the president and the commander have recently emphasised that it is not a pull-out date.

Read more on:    taliban  |  nato  |  david petraeus  |  afghanistan

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Device lets disabled people talk through their nose

A device that converts nose breaths into speech will open new doors for people with Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease.


For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region


George - Knysna

Junior Refrigeration Technician - Dunoon

Oxyon Human Capital Solutions (Pty) Ltd


Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd
R15 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.