After Two Days of Fighting, Taliban Still in Afghan City -

After Two Days of Fighting, Taliban Still in Afghan City

A pro-government militia commander, Ali Zafar, who was guarding a portion of a highway between Kabul and Ghazni, said on Saturday that his positions had been repeatedly attacked by the Taliban. But his group had managed to keep the road open for a reinforcement convoy of more than 150 vehicles, he added

“Today, the road is blocked and yesterday they blew up a bridge on the highway, but that was after the reinforcement convoy passed,” he said, adding the situation in Ghazni was not good.

Ahmad Farid Omary, the head of Ghaznawyan TV, a Ghazni station, said most broadcasters were forced off the air because their employees had fled. The only broadcaster still operating, Mr. Omary said, was Radio Shariat, a Taliban station, which was using a mobile van to go on the air, changing its location frequently.

“Reinforcements got to the city yesterday, but they haven’t started fighting,” Mr. Omary said. He said that many Taliban fighters had taken refuge in people’s homes, but that government forces were preparing a counterattack to recover lost ground.

Many of the reinforcements that arrived were apparently holed up in the army’s battalion headquarters about five miles north of the city proper.

A local Afghan police special forces commander in the province of Maidan Wardak, First Lt. Alireza Zulfiqar, said his unit escorted a 180-vehicle convoy of reinforcements Friday night, including Afghan commandos as well as regular army troops.

What was normally a two-hour trip took all day, Lieutenant Zulfiqar said, and they arrived at the army’s battalion headquarters after dark.

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