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Critical infrastructure in Ghazni City damaged: OCHA

Critical infrastructure in Ghazni City damaged: OCHA

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Aug 14, 2018 - 09:15

KABUL (Pajhwok): The presence of Talibaninfo-icon in civilian homes and markets in the capital of southern Ghazni province has heightened the risk of civilian casualties in airstrikes, a UN agency warned on Tuesday.

The placement of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along the highway, both north and south of the embattled Ghazni City, had prevented civilians from safely fleeing the violence, OCHA said in a statement.

Heavy fighting has been reported from the city over the past four days. On Monday evening, there were for the first time, unconfirmed reports from humanitarian sources that fighting had subsided.

There were reports of one airstrike within the city and several others outside of the provincial capital targeting positions of the armed group.

After attacks on key government offices, critical infrastructure has been damaged. Communications networks and the electricity supply are currently down in Ghazni, resulting in water shortages.

OCHA said some patients managed to reach first aid trauma posts outside of the city and approximately 20 others in critical conditions were transported to Kabulinfo-icon by a medical NGO for further treatment.

Families have taken shelter in houses and are unable to leave, even to get water from wells and fountains. Food is running low. There are reports of families moving from homes on the outskirts of the city to surrounding villages, sheltering with relatives.

The main hospital is overwhelmed by the high number of casualties. Off-duty healthinfo-icon staff in accessible areas has been transferred to the hospital in ambulances to support on-duty colleagues.

Eight surgeons are currently working in the hospital’s operation theatre. Due to ongoing fighting, residents are unable to safely bring injured persons to the hospital, indicating the number of people requiring emergency medical treatment may rise.

Medication and medical supplies at the hospital are reportedly running low although some supplies, including body bags, have been received.

The hospital is powered by one generator but fuel is difficult to obtain since pump stations are closed. An an international organisation, however, has delivered a sufficient amount of fuel to enable the hospital to run for the next three to four days.

There is no UN presence in Ghazni City, but 25 to 30 NGOs implement humanitarian programmes in the province and are on standby to respond once the security situation allows.

Existing stockpiles are sufficient to facilitate an immediate response in Ghazni City and include emergency household items for more than 6,000 people, 400 family tents, cash assistance for 9,800 people and nearly 140 MT of food to support 4,200 people for one month.

pr/mud

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