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Domestic flights cancelled to several Afghan provinces amid fierce fighting

dpa
Kabul
In Afghanistan, domestic flights have been cancelled to at least five Afghan provinces for weeks now as fighting intensifies between the pro-government forces and the Taliban militants, officials confirmed on Sunday.
Badakhshan, Faryab, Helmand, Kunduz and Uruzgan are the affected provinces under a fierce siege by the Taliban.
“It is impossible for the aeroplanes to land because the Taliban will hit them with mortars,” Helmand provincial council chief Ataullah Afghan told dpa from the volatile province.
Civilian government employees cannot travel in and out of Maimana city, the capital of Faryab province in the north, because the insurgents control all the surrounding districts to the city, a councillor from the province, Fazel Haq Mohammadi, explained.
In addition to the five provinces, flights had been temporarily suspended to Kandahar and Herat, according to the officials.
The flights from Herat airport resumed on Sunday after a three-day pause while heavy clashes were under way between the warring sides in the western part of the city.
Suliman Omar, the commercial director of Kam Air, the largest private airline in the country, told dpa that the airline conducted two flights on Sunday carrying hundreds of stranded people from the capital Kabul to Herat province and vice versa.
On Sunday, flights from Kandahar airport were cancelled after a Taliban rocket hit the airport runway, provincial councillor Nematullah Wafa said.
In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority said that all civilian flights will resume after the technical problems are resolved.
Afghanistan is in a state of uncertainty since the withdrawal of international troops began in early May.
Many countries have asked their citizens to leave the country via the earliest available commercial flights.

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