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Terrified Andar residents indoor for past 9 days

Terrified Andar residents indoor for past 9 days

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May 12, 2018 - 18:12

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Residents of Andar district in southern Ghazni province say they have been trapped inside their homes over the past nine days due to intense clashes between Afghan forces and Talibaninfo-icon militants.

The clashes have been ongoing over the past one week in Andar district, and as a result, the Ghazni-Paktika highway has been shut for traffic besides creating numerous other problems for local residents.

Fazal Rahman, a resident of Ghbargoli area of Andar district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they could not go out of their homes since nearly two weeks due to the armed battle.

“The road to the bazaar has been closed, clashes happen every other hour, airstrikes also occur, we are stuck inside our homes since nine days and the food items are also finished,” he said.

Nasratullah, a resident of Andar district center, said clashes erupted this morning as well and people were unable to go out of their homes.

“Taliban have turned people’s homes into trenches, the militants fire at Afghan forces from civilian houses, this is a problem for us,” he said.

Ahmad Khalid, another resident, said the Taliban had planted bombs on roads and people remained locked in their homes.

The militants have also closed the Ghazni-Paktika highway for traffic for the last several days, another problem, he said.

“The road is shut, people are in great trouble, some people use subways which are too unsafe,” he said.

These and other residents of Andar urged the government to resolve their problems.

Mohammad Qasim Desiwal, administrative chief of Andar district, said militants used to hide in civilian houses --- a reason of the Afghan forces operation has been sluggish.

“Taliban invited their gunmen from other areas to join the battle, their special unit has arrived in Andar, the rebel group has planted landmines on roads and people cannot go anywhere,” he said.

However, Desiwal said the Taliban would not be able to take control of the district.

Reinforcements have arrived in Andar district and security officials have promised to launch a wide-scale operation, he said.

On the other hand, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid said that militants did not use people’s houses as bastions. He said people had left their houses in areas where clashes were ongoing.

He confirmed the Taliban had planted bombs on roads but said they were remotely controlled and targeted only Afghan forces.

According to local officials, except four villages and the district center, all other areas of Andar are under Taliban’s control.

mds/ma

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