The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Saturday said the Afghan security forces are on high alert in Ghazni city and are trying to minimize security threats against the city.
The ministry’s remarks come after residents reported that clashes broke out on Thursday between security forces and insurgents on the outskirts of the city.
The defense ministry also said they will continue their military operations on the outskirts of the city and beyond in order to eliminate the insurgents and to ensure the safety of the city.
“Security measures have been taken there, our reinforcement troops are there, and in the areas where we felt there were threats we have launched operations. But our forces are on high alert in Ghazni and our operations are ongoing,” interior ministry’s spokesman Najib Danish said.
Meanwhile a number of Ghazni residents said clashes broke out in some areas on the outskirts of the city on Thursday night and that they are worried that the situation will deteriorate.
Two weeks ago the Taliban carried out a massive attack on the city and controlled parts of Ghazni for about four days. However, after a few days security forces pushed the Taliban back from the city.
Ghazni residents said all roads connecting Ghazni to other provinces are not completely secure and that a number of Ghazni people were not able to get back to their city to celebrate Eid.
Avizha Orzhalan said she works in Kabul, but her family lives in Jaghoori. Orzhalan said she had been extremely stressed during the siege of Ghazni as she had not been able to contact her family as all communication networks had been cut.
“Following Ghazni’s collapse, Taliban are in control of roads, they are even in control of the check posts that belonged to the people. When we go they search us and our mobiles and we are facing problems,” said Orzhalan.
Meanwhile a number of residents in Ghazni districts also said they are worried about the security situation adding that clashes have flared up in the past few days in some districts.
“Khwja Omari and Khogyani districts are out of government’s control,” Fazlullah, a resident of Khawja Omari said.
“Taliban have check points in Khwja Omari district and they travel past the district and police headquarter buildings,” Ghulam Rasul, another resident said.
On August 10, Taliban launched coordinated attacks on Ghazni city, in the center of Afghanistan – 148 kilometers southwest of Kabul.
The attack however lasted for five days during which Taliban took over parts of the city and clashed with Afghan security forces.
During the attack, telecom services shut down and people either fled the city or took cover in their homes. However the ones who stayed behind faced a severe lack of water, food and healthcare services.
During the siege, the Afghan interior and defense ministers Wais Ahmad Barmak and Tariq Shah Bahrami held a press conference in Kabul and said at least 70 police soldiers were killed in the first four days of the attack.
The defense minister also stated that Pakistani, Chechen and Arab militants had been fighting alongside the Taliban.
On the death toll, Bahrami said that about 200 insurgents had been killed.