The Taliban and the US backed the Afghan security force (ASF) on Wednesday in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, as the US-led coalition and the Taliban battled for the control of a key strategic road between the two countries.
The US-backed Afghan forces are currently in control of five roads and the border with Pakistan, which is about 2km (1.2 miles) long, in order to keep control of their major supply route from the Afghan capital Kabul.
The main road connecting the two cities runs through the city, which has been the Taliban’s main base for over a decade.US forces, however, have since stepped up their presence in the area and they have now been supporting the ASF and Afghan troops in their fight against the Taliban.
The Afghan military and the government have said that the Taliban were using the tunnel to carry out attacks and to carry weapons.
The ASF commander, Abdul-Rahman Asghar, told the Associated Press news agency that the Afghan forces were defending the tunnel because it was a key supply route for the Taliban, who have repeatedly attacked Afghan forces in the region.
“We have to defend the tunnel as long as possible.
We have to be on alert,” Asghard said.
The Taliban have repeatedly attempted to attack Afghan forces and civilians on the tunnels, which have been used to smuggle drugs, weapons and explosives, according to the BBC.