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Council warns of humanitarian catastrophe in embattled Ghazni

AT-KABUL: Provincial councilmen and civil activists warned on Sunday of a humanitarian crisis in the embattled Ghazni if fighting continued, amid a fierce battle that erupted a few days back and spiraled across the city and its outskirts.

The Taliban guerillas attacked Ghazni city on Friday night from multiple directions, overrunning areas and burning government and private installations. Civilians have been killed and wounded in clashes between the warring parties, said the public representatives, who warned that hospitals had insufficient medicine and could barely offer basic health servicesas people remained confined to their homes and all roads leading to the city were closed.

Provincial councilman Esmatullah Janmuradwalsaid in a news conference in Kabul that fierce fighting was still underway in Ghazni city as of 11:30am Sunday. “The situation is terrible, both the warring sides and civilians have suffered casualties.”He said currently only the Governor’s House, Haram Sary, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) department and the police headquarters were under control of the security forces and other parts of the city had been captured by the Taliban.

Private and government institutions, including the traffic department, had been set on fire and hospitals which lacked medicines were filled with dead and injured persons. “There is no electricity and no telecommunication facilities.”

A councilman Naseer Ahmad Faqiri acknowledged the information Jamuradwal’s account and added a human catastrophe would happen if the situation was not brought under control in Ghazni City. He said local representatives had informed the Ministry of Interior (MoI) 18 hours before about the Taliban’s imminent attack but no steps were taken to beat back the Taliban attack.

Another activist said the situation had worsened in Ghazni as bodies were lying on the streets and residents had no access to basic facilities.

Spokesperson to the interior ministry, Najib Danish, said fresh forces had reached Ghazni city and the security situation was under control while intermittent gunfire could be heard in parts of the city. He said 30 bodies of civilians and security personnel had been dispatched to hospitals. He rejected a possible catastrophic situation and that bodies were lying on the roads.

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