Fight for Afghanistan's Ghazni city enters third day

Fight for Afghanistan's Ghazni city enters third day
Taliban forces are still reportedly roaming the eastern Afghan city, despite government claims the Ghazni is under its control.
2 min read
12 August, 2018
Smoke rising after Taliban launches assault on Ghazni city [Getty]

Taliban and Afghan security forces continued to fight for control of the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni for a third day, despite Kabul's claim the city was firmly under government control. 

Taliban fighters continued to roam the city Sunday, torching government offices and manning several police checkpoints, according to an AFP reporter on the ground. 

Government reinforcements are reportedly entering the city. 

The fighting has pushed residents to cower in their homes or attempt to flee the city, with the price of basic provisions skyrocketing in the embattled city.

"The situation is chaotic," Amanullah Kamrani, deputy head of the Ghazni provincial council, told AFP from Kabul.

"In Ghazni, only the police headquarters, governor's office and a few departments are under Afghan forces' control - the rest are under the Taliban fighters' control," he added.

Mobile services in the city remained down after militants damaged a telecommunication tower and targeted several media offices in Ghazni, making information difficult to verify.

The descriptions stood in stark contrast to statements from Afghan and US officials Saturday, who said government forces were firmly in control of the city and vowed that Ghazni was in no danger of being seized by the Taliban.

Ghazni - around two hours by road from the capital Kabul - has been under increasing danger from massing Taliban fighters for months, with reports suggesting insurgents had infiltrated the city at will.

The onslaught was the latest attempt by the Taliban to overrun an urban centre and comes as pressure increases on the insurgents to begin peace talks with the government to end the nearly 17-year-old war.

The attack was the Taliban's largest operation since an unprecedented truce in June over the Eid holiday brought fighting to a brief halt.

Meanwhile, on Sunday AP reported that a Taliban delegation landed in Uzbekistan - which is mediating talks with the government - earlier this month to discuss peace talks.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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