Has Ghazni fell to Taliban: Government claims ‘clearance operation under way’, Taliban claims ‘victory, routed Afghan forces’

Kabul: In a dramatic move Taliban on Thursday stormed Ghazni city and later claimed to have routed a wholesome battalion along with ammunition and said that they are ‘protecting city’ now. However Government claimed that city is under their control and ‘clearance operation is underway’. 

According to media reports it has been difficult to verify the claims  over control of the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni as power and mobile services are cut to the area after the Taliban destroyed a telecommunications tower.

Quoting officials reports said that the fighting was underway in areas surrounding Ghazni, even as the claim and counter claims were being made. Additional reinforcements had been rushed to Ghazni  and US forces deployed attack helicopters and launched at least one drone strike to push back the Taliban fighters.

The Taliban have already claimed that they have routed Afghan forces from Ghazni.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was quoted of saying that mujahideen have completely conquered a battalion in Ghazni, seizing weapons and ammunition and four pickup trucks, as he declared victory.

“Our mujahideen are protecting the city of Ghazni,” Mujahid said

Ghazni is strategically important city  and is less than two hours by road from Kabul.

Reports claimed that prior to the final assault of storming the city taliban fighters were amassing around it and claimed that the fighters had already infiltrated the city as well.

“They stormed Ghazni late Thursday as an attempt to seize an urban centre amid pressures them to enter peace talks with the government to end the nearly 17-year-old war,” reports said.

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