Taliban Capture Key Dam in Kandahar as Fighting Rages across Afghanistan
Story Code : 931183
According to reports, local officials said on Thursday that Dahla Dam in Arghandab district, which provides irrigation to farmers via a network of canals as well as drinking water for the provincial capital, was now under the Taliban control.
Haji Gulbuddin, the governor of an adjacent district, confirmed that government forces had lost the dam to the Taliban.
"Our security forces... asked for reinforcements but they failed to get it," he said.
Taliban Spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the group had seized the strategically important dam after violent clashes in the southern province.
Tooryalay Mahboobi, the Kandahar water department chief, said the Taliban had recently warned Dahla employees not to go to work.
Last month, the militants blew up a bridge that connected the dam to adjacent districts.
Dahla was built nearly 70 years ago to provide water for irrigating land in about seven districts of Kandahar.
The dam's capture comes after clashes erupted in neighboring Helmand province where Afghan security forces have attempted to confront a huge Taliban offensive over the past few days. Thousands of people have fled their homes amid the clashes.
Helmand has been the opium-growing desert province where the US and British forces suffered the bulk of their losses during the 20-year war on Afghanistan.
The Afghan Defense Ministry recently said that the government forces had been responding to assaults by the Taliban in at least seven provinces.