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Fierce clash ongoing for control of Ajiristan district HQ

Fierce clash ongoing for control of Ajiristan district HQ

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May 20, 2018 - 16:17

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Local officials in southern Ghazni province on Sunday said a fierce clash was underway between Afghan forces and Talibaninfo-icon militants in the center of Ajiristan district.

However, the militants claimed taking control of the district after three days of their coordinated attack, with both sides suffering casualties.

Governors’ spokesman, Mohammad Arif Noori, told Pajhwok Afghan News that reinforcement arrived at the district center on Sunday morning as heavy clashes continued.

He said 18 police had been killed and another 13 wounded so far in the battle. Civilians also suffered casualties.

Noori said Taliban used civilian houses as shield, making it hard for Afghan air force to attack them, he said.

A contact could not be established with Ajiristan district chief as he had possibly taken refuge in a safe place.

Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, a provincial council member, said the Taliban would overrun the district if the government did not pay serious attention to it.

“The battle for the district has been ongoing since four days, telephone services have not working since last night and we do not know what is going on there,” he added.

Hakimullah, a resident of Ajiristan in Ghazni city, told Pajhwok that the Taliban torched a Salaam Telecom tower in the district center last night.

“The father of one of my friends was also killed in this battle, but no facilities are available to remove his corpse,” he said.

On the other hand, a Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed that Ajiristan district had been captured by the guerrillas.

He said 34 Afghan security personnel were killed and a large number of others were captured alive by the Taliban.

Ajiristan is located 200 kilometers northwest of Ghazni capital. It shares border with Daikundi province.

According to another report, Andar district police chief in Ghazni province has been wounded along with three bodyguards in a militant ambush.

Governor’s spokesman, Mohammad ArifNoori, said the Taliban attacked security posts of Andar district on Saturday night and killed two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and injured three others.

He said Andar district police chief was on his way to the clash site when ambushed. He was injured along with three others.

Four Taliban fighters were also killed and five others wounded in the Andar battle.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the Andar district chief was seriously wounded and three of his bodyguards were killed in the clash.

Like many other provinces, clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban rebels have recently intensified in Ghazni.

mds/ma

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