Reuters: President Ashraf Ghani congratulated Afghanistan’s armed forces in Ghazni on Friday for their victory over Taliban insurgents in the strategically important city after clashes that killed at least 150 soldiers and 95 civilians. The Taliban’s five-day siege of Ghazni eased on Wednesday after Afghan officials declared that they had regained complete control of the city by killing hundreds of Taliban fighters.
Ghani met officials in Ghazni, a central Afghanistan city on the main highway linking the capital, Kabul, with the south, to assess security, and also met families of the victims and prayed for the deceased.
“I am here to help all those who have suffered losses, I am committed to build the city and also do everything to protect Ghazni,” Ghani said after arriving in the city.
“Our soldiers have fought bravely and we stand committed to bringing peace,” he said.
The assault on Ghazni exposed the fragile grip Ghani’s Western-backed government has on security and its apparent inability to prevent large-scale attacks.
It also came as Ghani’s government and its international partners had been pushing for a second cease-fire during next week’s Eid holiday.
Thousands of Taliban insurgents entered Ghazni after destroying checkpoints, killing dozens of Afghan soldiers and police officers, cutting communications and the highway.