Thousands flee fighting in Helmand
Fighting in Helmand has sent thousands of Afghans fleeing to the capital of the southern opium-rich province, sparking a humanitarian crisis as Taliban insurgents besiege the city despite intensified United States air strikes. The Taliban advance on Lashkar Gah has compounded fears that the city was on the brink of falling into insurgent hands. Local officials warned on August 9 that the provincial capital was struggling to cope with an influx of people fleeing the fighting across Helmand. “Around 30,000 people have been displaced in Helmand in the past several weeks. Most of them are coming to Lashkar Gah,” said Omar Zawak, the provincial governor’s spokesperson.