The Taliban attack on Ghazni has continued for a fourth day – with intense fighting and conflicting claims over who controls Ghazni City.
Addressing a joint press conference on Monday in Kabul, the Defense and Interior ministers said that more than a thousand of backup forces have been deployed to retreat the insurgents from the city.
They said the military offensive was ongoing against the Taliban from four directions, stressing that the Afghan security forces were controlling the city.
“Today, additional troops have been sent to Ghazni City to clear the city from insurgents and maintain the security of [Ghazni-Kabul] highway,” said the Minister of Defense, Tariq Shah Bahrami.
“The Taliban’s claims that they have taken control of some parts of governmental areas including a prison in [Ghazni City], were proved false,” said the Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak. “The Taliban know that how much they lied to the nation.”
Barmak stressed that the situation in the city has been changed and that the security forces have presence in the city. “The situation of the city is totally in control of the security forces,” he said.
Sources, meanwhile, told Ariana News that the Taliban and the Afghan security forces are still engaged in sporadic clashes in Khwaja Alam, Qala-e-Tahweldar and Godal Ahangaran areas of the city.
Bahrami stressed that the Taliban were using civilians’ homes as shelters and it has challenged the security forces’ mission in the city. But he expressed hope that the situation change in their favor within 24 hours.
The Death toll in four-day battle in Ghazni City
Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami said that about 100 Afghan security forces and up to 30 civilians have been killed in four-day battle in Ghazni City, the provincial capital on the key highway between Kabul and Kandahar.
“Possibly about 100 Afghan Defense and Security Forces and 20-30 innocent civilians were killed in four-day battle in [Ghazni province],” Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami said. He stressed that the exact figures were not cleared yet.
In addition, Bahrami said that the “enemies” have suffered almost 200 dead including their 12 key commanders, and about 150 wounded in the ongoing battle in Ghazni City so far.
Reports suggest that at least 100 Afghan Commando forces have been disappeared in Ajrestan district of Ghazni province. But the Interior Minister Barmak said that the commando forces have retreated the district, following furious clashes with the insurgents.