Latest reports from Ghazni province – in the center of Afghanistan – indicate that battles are still ongoing in parts of the provincial capital.
Ministries of Defense and Interior Affairs would not comment on Ghazni situation despite many attempts by TOLOnews team.
Recent footages obtained by TOLOnews on Saturday morning show that Taliban militants have created check points in parts of the city and are firing rockets on Ghazni Police Headquarters.
Some Ghazni officials who are out of the province right now said telecom services are disconnected in Ghazni City and that they have not ensured communication with their families and friends since Friday evening.
Reliable sources told TOLOnews that the war is ongoing near the National Directorate of Security building in Ghazni City and that some shops have caught fire in the clashes.
Hamidullah Nowroz, member of Ghazni Provincial Council told TOLOnews on Saturday that Taliban militants were planning to attack and overrun Ghazni City months ago.
Nawroz said that they contacted the interior minister, Wais Ahmad Barmak, a day before the attack and that they shared their concerns on Ghazni City situation, but according to him, the minister said that the city will not fall – to the Taliban.
“As per my information, clashes are ongoing near Ghazni’s prison, cinema and Qarabagh areas which connect Kabul with Kandahar,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has claimed in a social media post that the group has captured Ghazni’s prison and that prisoners have been freed.
Some sources said some shops were open in the central parts of Ghazni City and that the clashes are ongoing in western parts of the city.
Security officials said that due to clashes in parts of Sayed Abad district in Wardak province, the Kabul-Kandahar highway is still close to traffic.
According to sources, so far the clashes in Ghazni have left 16 people dead, over 30 others wounded including civilians.
Taliban stormed Ghazni City – 148 kilometers southwest of Kabul – at around 1am Kabul time on Friday.
Taliban said in a statement on Friday that the group stormed Ghazni City from different sides.
Insecurity has recently increased in Ghazni province. The increasing insecurity has resulted in a decision by the Independent Election Commission to delay the upcoming parliamentary election in the province.