Highway reopens after 3 days of closure, clashes in Ghazni
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Officials in southern Ghazni province have claimed reopening the Kabul-Kandahar highway for traffic on Thursday after three days of blockade by the insurgents.
The Taliban had banned the flow of traffic on the vital southern highway since Monday in the Shabazz Khan and Nawghi localities of Ghazni province, where several clashes took place.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News security forces had repulsed the Taliban attacks and cleared the area lat on Wednesday. The road subsequently reopened for traffic.
He said the Taliban stormed some check-posts in the area,but the fighters were beaten back by police. The officials claimed at least 90 assailants were killed and more than 50 other wounded in the last three days.
The deputy governor said the militants planned a Kunduz-style attack on Ghazni City, the provincial capital, but the security forces foiled their nefarious designs.
Ahmadi claimed security forces had inflicted heavy casualties on the Taliban. Pakistani militants were among the dead. Four policemen were also killed during the clashes, he said.
Mohammad Ismail Quraishi, commander of the Special Police Force, confirmed the Kabul-Kandahar highway had been reopened. He blamed the Taliban for destroying multiple small bridges, suggesting the rebels had planted landmines before leaving the area.
He claimed at least 200 Taliban had been killed and wounded in the past three days in Ghazni.
The Taliban also confirmed the reopening of the busy highway. The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said scores of vehicles struck in Ghazni had been allowed to move as a goodwill gesture. However, Mujahid did not comment on causalities.
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