Afghan forces have pushed the Taliban militants back from the strategic city of Ghazni and are now trying to flush the insurgents from the city’s outskirts, according to officials.
Ghazni residents and some Afghan officials said early Tuesday that the Taliban has been forced to withdraw from a number of areas in the city after setting government buildings on fire, Afghan news website Tolo reported.
Residents also said that the battle is currently underway in districts of Asfanda, Noghi and around the Khoghyani, on the outskirts of the city.
They bodies of reportedly over 100 people have overwhelmed the Ghazni’s regional hospital and over 200 people are being treated at the hospital.
In the meantime, a security source confirmed that at least 100 security forces were killed in the Ghazni clashes.
The Afghan forces’ operations come on the fifth day after a massive Taliban attack on the provincial capital of Ghazni.
Meantime, Washington Times reported that Hundreds of people have fled the fighting in Ghazni.
Nasart Rahimi, a deputy spokesman at the Interior Ministry, says security forces were searching every inch of Ghazni for Taliban fighters on Tuesday.
Abdul Karim Arghandiwal, an army media officer in southeastern Afghanistan, says military helicopters are supporting the ground forces’ operations in Ghazni.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denies the insurgents have been routed from Ghazni and says sporadic gunbattles are still ongoing.
On Monday the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Afghanistan said they had received reports of a number of civilian casualties in the ongoing battle in Ghazni city.
According to the statement: “Residents of Ghazni City have seen their city turn into a battlefield since Friday morning, with fighting and clashes reportedly still ongoing.
“We have received initial reports of a number of civilian casualties and of people trying to reach safe areas outside of the city,” said Rik Peeperkorn, acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan.
He also said: “Medication at the main hospital is reportedly becoming scarce and people are unable to safely bring casualties for treatment. 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.”
“According to sporadic reports from within the city, many families have reportedly taken shelter in their houses and are unable to leave their homes. Vital telecommunications net-works and the electricity supply are down in the city of 270,000 people which has impacted on the water supply, and food is also reportedly running low.