BBC reporter’s terrifying days amid Taliban assault on Ghazni

Symbol copyright Reuters Symbol caption Many citizens have now fled Ghazni after cowering in their houses for days

The Taliban’s brazen attack on the strategic city of Ghazni, south of the capital Kabul, has come as a huge blow to the Afghan govt and its international allies. a minimum of ONE HUNDRED FORTY contributors of the security forces and 60 civilians died in 5 days of combating, at the side of possibly masses of Taliban opponents, before the militants had been pushed back.

BBC Pashto journalist Assadullah Jalalzai spent 3 days beneath siege earlier than coping with to escape town, which now appears to be again in executive control. here is his account of what happened.

Friday, 10 August – ‘They came dressed as soldiers’

The silence in town was once unexpectedly damaged with speedy heavy gunfire at round 00:30. It woke everyone up. My childrens started crying. the first thing I did was once to move everybody away from the windows. Moments later I heard my elderly neighbour calling out loudly and warning: “do not step out of your houses.”

My neighbour to the facet began knocking on the wall to just be sure that we have been alert and k. no person slept for the remaining of the night, not even the little ones.

in the morning, residents may just see black smoke rising from many parts of the city. All of the telecommunications towers are located on a unmarried hill and all had been on hearth. there was a whole communications shutdown.

Image caption BBC journalist Assadullah Jalalzai was an eyewitness to the Taliban assault on Ghazni

The Reality used to be Taliban opponents had attacked Ghazni from all four directions and heavy clashes had endured all the way through the town for many of the primary day. We spent the evening paying attention to light gunfire and helicopters circling the skies.

No-one knew what used to be going down to their next-door neighbours. It used to be simply too dangerous to step out of your entrance door.

Saturday, ELEVEN August – ‘Running out of drugs’

Taliban opponents had been now inside of the city, right within the centre of it. They set fire to a police training centre in Cinema Sq.. Some Other workforce of fighters stood on Damaged Bridge, retaining their system weapons and rocket launchers.

Now Not distant there were Afghan army squaddies at the back of the golf green Mosque. The Gap between the 2 sides used to be not more than 100m. Gunfire erupted as quickly as a soldier or a Taliban fighter stepped out from behind a wall.

And in the middle of all this there were citizens looking to flee, crouching as they moved to bypass a bullet to the top. In a desperate scenario, extra unhealthy information arrived. The electricity provide to town were close down.

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The local clinic was overcrowded with masses of injured other folks. I saw dozens of dead our bodies lying on best of each different and those desperately in search of relatives a few of the useless and wounded. you would pay attention a noisy cry and also you could realize that they had identified one in all the lifeless.

Then an ambulance arrived with more injured people. the driving force advised us they were Taliban warring parties.

Image copyright Reuters

The Top of the medical institution grew to become to him and stated: “Take them to another sanatorium. now we have injured cops inside of. The last item i would like is for them to begin firing at one another within the health facility.”

The injured were lying on the sanatorium lawn. Six docs had been seeking to attend to them. Physician Baz Mohammad advised me: “we are working out of medicine. we won’t even provide first support.”

In the center of all this chaos, other folks endured to go looking for members of the family. one in every of them, Ghulam Sanayi, stated he had no longer heard from his brother, a shopkeeper, since the morning. “i’ve been going from one health facility to a different the entire day.”

Other People have been additionally running out of food. there were simplest two bakeries within the complete town still open. One unmarried piece of bread now cost 50-60 Afghanis (£0.54-0.64; $0.70-$0.85). It had been best 10 Afghanis days earlier.

Sunday, 12 August – ‘They stopped those fleeing town’

Fighting continued at the 3rd day. i’ll now not remove the photographs of utter chaos on the health center from my head as i made up my mind to escape the town.

It was once night and dark outdoor. I noticed 4 army humvees in the north of Ghazni. there were safety forces personnel status round them, stopping those who have been looking to get out and asking them questions.

i was stopped too. I advised them i used to be going to a close-by village just out of doors town. They allow the group i used to be with go. Moments later, we have been on the street to Kabul, NINETY miles (148km) north.

Taliban warring parties tried to forestall our car when we reached the Sayed Abad space of Wardak province, approximately midway there. Our driving force circled neatly and sped away. After riding thru many villages we in the end arrived in Maidan Shar, an hour from Kabul.

After 3 days of terror, we were out of danger.

Image copyright Reuters Symbol caption Squaddies had been checking automobiles at the Ghazni-Kabul freeway

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