Andar district teetering on the verge of collapse
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Officials of southern Ghazni province on Saturday said heavy clashes in Andar district were underway, fearing the town would fall to militants if immediate support did not arrive in time.
Provincial council head, Hamidullah Nawroz, told Pajhwok Afghan News firefights were ongoing in most parts of Ghazni province due to the limited number of policemen there.
“Government leaders treat Ghazni as a third-grade province, while it is clearly a full-fledged province,” he remarked, saying heavy clashes had been going on over the past four days. He feared the district would fall to the Taliban if reinforcements did not arrive immediately.
Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel, confirmed the clashes and said more than 30 militants had been killed and a large number of others wounded.
“I shifted a number of police personnel from the district to Ghazni City, because the number of policemen is very limited here,” he said, adding that the issue had been shared with the Ministry of Interior.
Governor Abdul Karim Matin said a number of militants had sneaked into the district from Helmand and other provinces. The insurgents to overrun the town but they would not succeed, he continued.
“We have sent reinforcements to Andar, where clashes are still ongoing,” he said, adding the Taliban could never achieve anything on the battlefield.
Jan Mohammad, a resident of Sahib Khan area, confirmed that clashes had been underway for the past several days in the district. “Mortar shells have landed in our village, we cannot go out of homes,” he said. A number of his villagers have been injured.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said several security posts had fallen to the fighters. He claimed 30 Afghan forces were killed and 40 others injured so far.
A group of 1,000 Taliban led by Peer Agha had entered Andar district to fight against government forces there, he said, adding only one rebel had been injured so far.
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