Taliban slaughters dozens of civilians in 24-hour onslaught in major city as Afghan troops warn families ‘get out now’

THE Taliban slaughtered dozens of civilians during a 24-hour onslaught as an Afghan general warned families to "leave as soon as possible".

Civilians in the beseiged city of Lashkar Gah were urged to evacuate as General Sami Sadat's troops manned barricades in Helmand Province.

At least 40 civilians were butchered and more than 100 wounded in the past 24 hours of fighting, the UN said today. 

Sadat warned of "devastating" consequences" if the Taliban aren't defeated- and vowed to wipe out the Islamist militants.

He told residents to "'leave as soon as possible so that we can start our operation".

Sadat added: "I know it is very difficult for you to leave your houses – it is hard for us too – but if you are displaced for a few days please forgive us.


"We are fighting the Taliban wherever they are. We will fight them and… we will not leave a single Taliban alive."

The Taliban launched its offensive across the country as the final US troops prepare to leave next month, seizing more than ten provincial capitals as it advanced.

US and Afghan air forces have pounded Taliban positions after five days of fierce fighting that saw Islamist fighters capture parts of the city centre.

The ruthless militants have already slaughtered dozens of civilians and vowed to crush gay men to death by pushing walls on them as they plot to reinstate their strict interpretation of Sharia law across war-torn Afghanistan.

The terror group has seized a third of Afghanistan and show no sign of slowing down their blitz offensive.

Sadat fears if the Taliban is victorious it could lead to a surge in terror attacks across Europe and the US.

He said: "This is not a war of Afghanistan, this is a war between liberty and totalitarianism."

It was reported tonight that gunmen have stormed the Afghan defence minister's home in Kabul after an explosion.

As the fighting intensified in regions under attack from the Taiban, the US has stepped up air strikes in a bid to defeat the insurgents.

Refugees have been fleeing to borders to escape as the brutal terror group sweeps across the country.

We are fighting the Taliban wherever they are. We will fight them and… we will not leave a single Taliban alive.

The UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan expressed "deepening concern" for civilians in Lashkar Gah as the fighting raged.

If Lashkar Gah falls it would be a huge blow to the Afghan government.

A large Taliban assault has been launched on regional capitals, with Lashkar Gah at the centre of the fighting.

Kandahar – also in Helmand – and Herat, in the north west have also seen major clashes.

In Herat, Afghan special forces have been deployed and air strikes are taking place.

Government forces pushed back Taliban fighters from parts of the city – including near the airport, which is vital for resupplies.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the militants plan to free Afghanistan from the "invasion of foreign countries".

"An Islamic government should rule the country," he told The Sun Online from Kabul.

"The hands of the individuals who have come from foreign countries and have stolen the country's treasure should be cut off."

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