Afghanistan imposes curfew to stop Taliban

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has decreed a nightly curfew to run from 10pm to 4am.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has decreed a nightly curfew to run from 10pm to 4am.

The government will impose a curfew in 31 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces to prevent the Taliban from infiltrating larger cities, security officials say, as the militants seek to overpower the country's provincial capitals.

Officials in the country's Interior Ministry say that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has decreed a nightly curfew to run from 10pm to 4am.

As groups involved in terror and destruction have been mainly active at night, officials decided to impose a night curfew to prevent people from moving around, ministry spokesman Zia Zia said on Saturday.

Only three provinces, the capital Kabul, Nangarhar in the east, and Panjshir in the northeast, are exempt from the curfew, Zia added.

It was not immediately clear how the security forces would handle exceptions, for example in emergencies. Zia said the curfew would be a temporary measure.

The new development comes as deadly fighting continues between the Taliban insurgents and the pro-government forces across the country.

Taliban insurgents seek to topple the Afghan government and establish a strict Islamic system, and the militants have intensified their attacks since US-led international forces began to withdraw in May.

The Taliban already controls more than half of Afghanistan's districts, a survey conducted by dpa correspondents last week revealed.

Meanwhile pro-government forces are trying to repel the Taliban's attacks on provincial capitals, and recapture the many districts recently lost to the militants.

Australian Associated Press