Taliban insurgents on Friday blocked Kabul-Kandahar Highway that connects Afghanistan’s capital Kabul to the southern city of Kandahar after the group launched an overnight attack on Ghazni City.
Taliban’s attack on Ghazni, about 180 kilometers southwest of Kabul, is the latest series of attacks by the resurgent group on provincial centers.
Afghan security officials in Maidan Wardak province said Taliban launched an attack on Salar area at midnight on Thursday and then engaged in a fierce battle with government forces in the area.
Passengers who stranded on the strategically important high said Taliban fighters have visible presence in some parts of Kabul-Kandahar Highway.
“They (Taliban) targeted the vehicles. Landmines were planted, bridges were destroyed, they also opened fire on us. Many drivers had been hit,” said Abdulhai, a driver.
“We stranded for two hours in Sayed Abad district. Clashws were ongoing in Chashm-e-Salar, so we returned,” said Mohammad Zia, a driver.
The US army in Afghanistan however has said that a series of air strikes were carried out on the Taliban in the area and that the group’s attempt to seize Ghazni City has failed.
“We can confirm that there were attacks last night on multiple government centers in Ghazni City, Ghazni province,” Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, told TOLOnews.
TOLOnews reporter Gulabuddin Ghubar who visited Maidan Wardak said government forces were trying to send reinforcements to the area to repel further advance of the group.
Soldiers describes the warfronts
“We checked the route and defused the mines. We also escorted the convoy towards Durani bazar and took the martyrs there,” said Mohammad Sediq, a soldier.
“We walked through Dasht-e-Top area. Taliban militants are fighting on multiple fronts. They cannot engage in direct battles,” said Emal Ibrahimi, a soldier.
“People have suffered from this war. The road is blocked. People are stranded on both sides,” said Sharifullah Hotak, member of Maidan Wardak Provincial Council.
Ghazni is a volatile region in southwest Afghanistan where Afghan security forces are frequently engaging in deadly battles against the Taliban.