Afghan troops suffer heavy casualties in Ghazni

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – As many as 100 Afghan soldiers were killed and injured, while over 200 Taliban militants were dead in ongoing clashes in Ghazni city, officials said on Monday.

Amid growing concerns over a spate of deadly clashes in the city on fourth consecutive day, Defense Minister Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami and Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak briefed media in the capital Kabul.

Vowing the situation in the city would further improve in next 24 hours, Bahrami confirmed close to 100 casualties (dead and wounded) of the security forces during the four-day of raging clashes.

“Unfortunately, close to 30 civilians have been killed,” he said.

Barmak said 70 soldiers and policemen were killed in the fight.

Realizing the grimness of the situation, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has directed deployment of additional troops under the command of chief of army staff, deputy minister for interior and deputy head of the spy agency, NDS, to take on the rebels in the besieged city.

Groups of armed Taliban militants stormed the city overnight Friday, setting fire to a number of checkpoints after engaging in deadly clashes with government forces.

Located some 150 kilometres from Kabul, the city of Ghazni is situated on the main highway connecting it with the capital with the country’s southern and western provinces.

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