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Ghazni-Paktika highway closed amid clashes in Andar

Ghazni-Paktika highway closed amid clashes in Andar

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May 06, 2018 - 15:36

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): The Ghazni-Paktika highway has been closed for traffic following fierce clashes between Afghan forces and Talibaninfo-icon in the Andar district of southern Ghazni province, officials said Sunday.

Mohammad Arif Noori, the Ghazni governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that clashes had been ongoing between the security forces and insurgents in parts of Andar district for the last three days.

He said 14 militants and an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier had been killed and eight rebels and five troops wounded during an overnight firefight. Clashes had stopped but might erupt again, he said.

 “The Taliban have destroyed two portions of an asphalted road. Reinforcement, therefore, cannot come to aid Afghan forces on the battleground,” he argued. Noori added the security forces were trying to reopen the road for traffic.

Mohammad Ullah, a resident of the Khani Baba area of Andar district, said the Paktika-Ghazni highway had been closed for the last three days. “We could not sleep due to clashes last night.”  Mortar shells landed in the area but no one was harmed.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the fighters had blocked the highway for military vehicles. “We have built subways for the movement of civilian vehicles.” He claimed 25 Afghan soldiers and two Taliban fighters had been killed in Andar.

mds/mud

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