The Latest: Afghan aid group offers to help Ghazni’s wounded
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan after a surge in Taliban attacks (all times local):
An Afghan aid group is offering to help with the wounded in the eastern city of Ghazni where critical battles are underway between government forces and the Taliban and where the local hospitals have been overwhelmed with casualties.
At least 120 Afghan forces and civilians have been killed, along with dozens more insurgents, and there are fears many more have been wounded. Help cannot reach them because the fighting has paralyzed the city.
Nilab Mobarez, the secretary general of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, said on Tuesday that her organization is ready to go into Ghazni and help those who are hurt.
She says the Red Crescent is an impartial organization and can assist people on either side of the conflict. She says about 500 health kits have been sent to Ghazni’s hospitals, along with 200 caskets for those killed in battle.
Mobarez spoke in Kabul.
The spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Kabul says the Taliban have overrun a military base in northern Afghanistan, killing 17 soldiers and wounding at least 19 troops.
Ghafor Ahmad Jawed says the insurgents overrun the base late on Monday night in Faryab province, in the district of Ghormach, after besieging it for three days.
The local provincial council chief, Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, says 43 troops were killed and wounded in the attack but didn’t give a breakdown.
He says the Taliban attack succeeded in taking control of the base, known as Camp Chinaya, which housed about 140 Afghan troops.
Rahmani says the base fell to the Taliban after the soldiers resisted the three-day onslaught. He says they didn’t get any reinforcements and ran out of ammunition, food and water.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in Faryab. He says 57 Afghan soldiers surrendered to the Taliban while 17 others were captured in battle. He says eight military Humvees were seized.
Afghan officials say security forces have pushed back the Taliban from Ghazni and are now trying to flush the insurgents from the city’s outskirts.
The operations come on the fifth day after a massive Taliban attack on the provincial capital of Ghazni.
Hundreds of people have fled the fighting in Ghazni, which has killed about 100 members of the Afghan security forces and at least 20 civilians.
Nasart Rahimi, a deputy spokesman at the Interior Ministry, says security forces were searching every inch of Ghazni for Taliban fighters on Tuesday.
Abdul Karim Arghandiwal, an army media officer in southeastern Afghanistan, says military helicopters are supporting the ground forces’ operations in Ghazni.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denies the insurgents have been routed from Ghazni and says sporadic gunbattles are still ongoing.