As foreign troops continued to withdraw from Afghanistan, fighting with government forces took place in the central city of Afghanistan.
Local officials said that Taliban militants launched attacks on Ghazni, clashed with the Afghan army and used explosives to try to seize cities in central Afghanistan.
The attack on Ghazni on the highway connecting the capital Kabul and the southern province of Kandahar on Tuesday intensified the Taliban’s offensive against the government, while foreign troops are preparing to withdraw from the war-torn country in less than three months.
Although senior Afghan officials confirmed the Taliban’s offensive, they also said that the Afghan army is trying to regain control of the lost ground.
For many years, the Taliban have been very powerful in Ghazni Province, but provincial police officials said that night attacks from multiple directions were the most violent attacks launched by the armed group.
Conflicts intensified near security checkpoints in Shaikh Ajal and Ganj districts of Ghazni city, forcing shopkeepers to close the main market.
Abdul Jami, a member of the Ghazni Provincial Assembly, said: “The situation in Ghazni is changing, and most of the land lost in the suburbs is being regained by the Afghan army.”
Roads into the area were closed and telecommunications were interrupted, making it difficult for aid groups and officials to assess the number of casualties.
As the Afghan army fights the Taliban in Ghazni and other parts of the country, officials say that some civilians are actively joining the fight against the organization.
Ajmal Omar Shinwari, spokesman for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, said that Afghans who are keen to take up arms against the Taliban are integrating into the structure of the territorial army.
“First they will be trained, and then they will be deployed on the battlefield together with other Afghan security forces,” said Sinwari in the capital Kabul.
After the United States and NATO troops began to withdraw the last remaining troops to meet the September 11 deadline announced by President Joe Biden to end the longest war in the United States, violence surged.
Since the beginning of May, the Taliban have launched several bloody offensives against government forces in rugged villages and stated that they have occupied nearly 90 of the country’s more than 400 areas.
However, many of the armed groups’ claims have been questioned by the government and have not been independently verified.
Saturday officials said 5000 Afghan families fled their homes After days of fighting between Taliban militants and government forces, the northern city of Kunduz.
According to local media reports, fierce fighting also took place in Kandahar and Baghlan provinces this week. The Afghan army claimed to have retaken the area controlled by the Taliban, but the group still stayed in the Pul-e-Khumri area in central Baghlan.
Since the US-led invasion was overthrown in 2001, the Taliban have been launching armed campaigns against Western-backed governments.
In the context of escalating violence, President Ashraf Ghani visited Washington last week to meet with Biden. Who promised the U.S. to support Afghanistan But it said that Afghans must decide their own future.
Ghani acknowledged the escalation of Taliban violence, but said that the country’s security forces are retaking areas from rebel control.
In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said that if the United States continues to station troops in Afghanistan after September 11, the armed group “has the right to react.”
The peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan leaders in Qatar are still continuing.
According to the latest data on the cost of war at Brown University, an estimated 241,000 people have died directly in the war since the US invasion.