Taliban presses into Afghan city of Ghazni

Intense fighting between the Taliban and Afghan Army has continued on its third day in Ghazni, where both sides have claimed control of the provincial capital. Afghan Army chief Sharif Yaftali assured the city was not under any threat of collapse, and that his forces have kept the Taliban away from city limits.


“Strategic locations and centres in the city are under the control of Afghan forces and the Taliban are hiding inside people’s homes and shops and resisting,” Mr Yaftali told news reporters in Kabul. However, a social media video posted by the Taliban showed captured army vehicles and empty streets in the city.

Local residents and politicians also say that the city might have already collapsed. “Only the Governor’s office, police headquarters and [the] intelligence agency’s compound are in the hands of the Government, and Taliban are pushing to take them,” said Chaman Shah Ehtemadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also claimed that the group had taken control of Khwajaumari, a district centre in north of the city, along with other areas in the province.  According to latest reports, more than 80 military personnel and an unknown number of civilians had died during the fighting.

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