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Fighting engulfs Ghazni; Afghan forces resist Taliban onslaught

AT News

KABUL: Fighting inside Ghazni city has intensified, local sources said on Monday, as Afghan security forces are putting up fierce resistance against the Taliban who are pushing with a heavy offensive across the embattled provincial capital of Ghazni province. The Taliban are using people and homes as shields.

A provincial councilmember, Hassan Reza Yousofi, has said that government forces had “evacuated” the 6th police district in Nawabad neighborhood of Ghazni city and the armed Taliban have taken control there.

According to BBC, Yousofi said that troops have also retreated from the 3rd police checkpoint in first police district. He said the Taliban bombed and blew up premises of a police checkpoint in 2nd police district. He said the Taliban had reportedly laid mines in the Qala-e-Amir Mohammad Khan area inside Ghazni city.

The situation in Ghazni province is very critical and fighting between the Taliban and government forces has spread to residential areas.

Yousofi said the Taliban would be able to infiltrate Ghazni city center if they were not tackled.

Government officials have not yet commented. But Ghazni governor has said that “the people of the province rest assured that no one is allowed to incite insecurity and harass the people”.

Residents of Ghazni say the Taliban are using people’s homes as shield in the occupied territories.

The Taliban also claimed that they had succeeded in capturing Kahmard district in central Bamyan province.

The Taliban had also attacked Malistan district of Ghazni province on Saturday. Malistan officials state that the security forces have confronted the Taliban “empty-handed” in the past few days and “no help has been provided by the central government”.

Officials in the district said that if reinforcements didn’t reach on Monday, “a dangerous catastrophe will occur and then it is expected that a finger of criticism will be raised against those who fight with empty hands and without any facilities and support,” according to their Facebook page.

Locals also say the Taliban have been able to seize several villages in Malistan district and people are now migrating from these villages. They say the Taliban are using people as human shields in the war.

Malistan, Jaghori and Nawar districts are among the remaining districts in Ghazni province that have not yet been overrun by the Taliban. The rest are under Taliban control.

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