About 20 and 30 civilians have been killed since fighting started. At least 100 security forces have been killed in the ongoing struggle with the Taliban from the embattled Afghan city of Ghazni, a government minister said Monday.This is four days after the fighting began 20 and 30 civilians have been killed, “said Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami during a press conference in Kabul.
The militant group started its offensive in the city last Friday. “As of midday today, the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces recaptured control of nearly all parts of Ghazni city and the Taleban militants would be expelled from the city soon,” Bahrami said at a joint press briefing with Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak.
He said that up to 100 government security force members, 30 civilians and over 194 Taleban militants were killed during the four-day clashes between security forces and Taleban militants in the city, Xinhua news agency reported.
At least 147 militants were injured. The US was supporting the Afghan government forces in conducting airstrikes tageting the Taleban.
Within the past 24 hours, the Defence Ministry deployed reinforcement in Ghazni city and its adjacent areas. Fresh troops will bring considerable changes in the security situation of the city in the next 24 hours, Bahrami added.
Last week, Taleban militants launched a massive attack on Ghazni, 125 km south of Kabul, in a coordinated effort to take back the city. Hundreds of Taleban insurgents stormed important government entities including the National Directorate for Security (Afghanistan’s Intelligence Agency) and the provincial governor’s office.
“The Afghan police and Army will soon clear Ghazni city from the Taleban and normalcy and peace will return into the city as soon as possible,” the Interior Minister said.
The clashes also blocked a main road connecting Kabul to southern and western provinces and scores of travellers were stranded.
About 100 soldiers of the Afghan special force were missing in the Ghazni province authorities said. President Ashraf Ghani ordered more troops to be sent to the city.
Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that residents of Ghazni were struggling to access basic services and medical care.
The OCHA said in a statement; “medication at the main hospital is reportedly becoming scarce… Main access roads both north and south of the city to larger cities where medical facilities are available are contested and unsafe for people to travel.”