Heavy fighting is currently ongoing between Afghan troops and Taliban fighters for control of the key city of Ghazni.
The battle for the key Afghan city intensified on Sunday with dozens of people reportedly killed after three days of continuous violence.
Afghan Politicians from Ghazni told residents that the Taliban had taken control of most of the city after invading in the early hours of Friday.
According to a lawmaker from Ghazni Chaman Shah Ehtemadi,
“Only the governor’s office, police headquarters and intelligence agency’s compound are in the hands of the government and Taliban are pushing to take them.”
Another resident, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, who also happens to be a provincial council member, alleged that only police and Afghan spy agency forces were left to battle the Taliban with no help from the army adding that the situation was very dire in the city.
Mohammad Rahim Hasanyar, a senator from the province, informed the public that Army reinforcements from Kabul the Afghan capital had not moved past Rawza, a town about 2km northeast of Ghazni, the capital of the province which bears the same name.
Eyewitness accounts however contradict claims by the Afghan Ministry of Defense that reinforcements had arrived in the city and had joined the fight against the Taliban.
The Afghan Chief of Army staff, told news correspondents that the city was not under threat of collapse and heavy fighting was under way to push back the Taliban fighters from city limits.
“Strategic locations and centres in the city are under the control of Afghan forces and the Taliban are hiding inside people’s homes and shops and resisting,” Yaftali revealed during a news conference in Kabul.
The United States military headquarters in Kabul also disclosed that US aircraft had conducted at least nine air raids between Saturday and Sunday but details of the fighting were still sketchy at best because most of the city’s telecoms masts had been destroyed in the fighting.
Several short videos circulated on social media, supposedly from Ghazni, showed patrols by a number of heavily armed Taliban fighters, with a large plume of smoke and flames coming out from the city in the background.
“It is over and the city is taken,” said a man standing outside his home, with several Taliban fighters nearby.
While there has been no official confirmation of casualties, Afghan media reported that more than 90 members of Afghanistan’s security forces had been killed alongside 13 civilians.
The media also reported more than 100 wounded as well as heavy casualties on the side of the Taliban fighters.