Intense fighting displaces dozens of Qarabagh families
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Dozens of families have been displaced from the Qarabagh district of southern Ghazni province due to fear of fighting, officials and residents said on Wednesday.
Noor Rahman, a resident of Shadi Khan Kala area, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had moved along with his family to the Shah Ghuli area of Ghazi City as a result of lingering violence in the district.
“Every day, our village was haunted by clashes. The Taliban would fire from the middle of our village at security posts. In retaliation, the security forces would fire at our homes, forcing us to leave the area,” he claimed.
The situation created psychological problems for children, something that prompted many households to migrate from the district. Rahman said they had repeatedly asked the Taliban not to attack checkpoints from the village, but they did not heed.
Momin Noori, hailing from the Nasratabad neighbourhood of the district, has shifted to a friend’s house elsewhere in Qarabagh. He plans sending his family to the provincial capital at an appropriate time.
He alleged the presence of many Afghan and foreign militants in the district, where they clashed daily with the security personnel. Security concerns for children have forced his family from their home.
“At times, mortars landed bang in the middle of our home, killing our cattle heads. Life had become miserable for us but no one paid attention to our plight. We were left with no option but leave the area,” he complained.
Shah Ghuli area inhabitant Saifullah said: “Some friends from Qarabagh are living with us due to fighting in the district. Their children are too scared to sleep properly. And even when they are asleep, they cry.”
He said mortar shells had fallen inside his uncle’s house in Qarabagh. The house owner and his son were wounded in the incident, which had caused other members of the family deep scars, the man continued.
Shafiq Nang, the governor’s spokesman, acknowledged fierce battles between insurgents and security forces in Qarabagh. At least 15 fighters had been killed and 14 others wounded, he said.
He also confirmed the displacement of civilians from the district to Ghazni City and other areas. “Taliban are to blame for firing at security posts from civilian houses. More often than not, militant attacks also result in civilian casualties.”
But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Pajhwok the fighters never fired from civilian homes at the security personnel. “A security checkpoint can’t be seen from the middle of a village. We do care about civilian protection and target posts in deserts.”
Without commenting on Nang’s statement on Taliban casualties, Mujahid insisted all fighters in Qarabagh were local residents. No foreign militants were operating there, he added.
The fighting has sparked the displacement of many households from Pirogai, Shadi Khan Kala, Nasratabad, Akhtaro Chamber, Saifuddin Chamber and Wazir Kala areas.
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