Ghazni residents have voiced their concern over the security situation in the city after communication lines were reportedly cut and clashes took place between insurgents and security forces in some parts of the city on Monday night.
Residents said telecommunication companies have been threatened by the Taliban and forced to cut services to the city except for a few hours each morning.
Footage obtained by TOLOnews on Tuesday shows an increased presence of security forces on the streets of Ghazni following Monday night’s clash.
On Tuesday, Ghazni police had clearly stepped up efforts to stop and search people and vehicles in the city.
“People are concerned about a repeat of a militant attack on Ghazni. There are rumors that telecommunication companies have been threatened by the Taliban to stop their services,” said Nematullah, a resident of Ghazni.
“Ghazni security is a worry for residents. We witness fires and clashes at night. It has made people hopeless. They (residents) are trying to leave Ghazni,” said Abdullah, another resident.
Some shopkeepers who have their businesses close to government buildings claimed that security forces have meanwhile prevented them from opening their shops due to security threats.
Referring to last month’s siege of the city, one shopkeeper, Rahimullah, said: “They fought, people’s shops were burnt, destroyed.”
However, one member of Ghazni Provincial Council, Khaliqdad Akbari, said he had been in the city on Monday night during the clash, but left for Kabul on Tuesday.
After arriving in the capital he said the road to Kabul, which is only about 180km from Ghazni, was a “death highway”.
“Government officials, government forces, lawmakers, none of them can travel through the death highway. Everyone gets stuck wherever they are (fighting),” Akbari said.
Meanwhile, other Ghazni residents said telecom services are active only for three hours each day - from 7am to 10am.
“Telecommunication companies are not working. People are faced with problems. Security is a concern for us,” said Hayatullah Muzafari, a resident of Ghazni.
Another resident, Ewaz Ali, said: “We are disconnected from our friends. Telecommunication companies have been threatened by enemies of this land.”
Taliban has not commented on this so far, however, Ghazni Police Headquarters stated on its Face Book page that limited telecom services in Ghazni was due to technical problems.
Sources from telecom companies however said some of the companies have disconnected their services due to Taliban threats.
This comes after Ghazni City was held under siege by the Taliban for four days last month. The Taliban siege resulted in almost $200 million in losses to the private sector, according to government statistics.