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No Safe Way’ Into Battle-Scarred Afghan City Of Ghazni To Deliver Aid As Traumatized Children Search For Parents

Dubai – Masaader News

The city of Ghazni in Afghanistan is still too dangerous for aid workers to reach, after a week of “intense” fighting and reports that traumatized children are turning up at hospitals looking for their parents, UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, said on Friday.

“As of this hour, there is no safe way for civilians or humanitarian workers to enter into Ghazni,” OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said, adding that hundreds of civilians are believed to have died since last Friday, in clashes between Taliban fighters and pro-Government forces.

“We estimate that there are some 200-250 civilian casualties, according to the latest unverified numbers,” he said, citing information from the Red Cross in Afghanistan.

Ghazni, in the east of Afghanistan, is one of the country’s largest cities and home to around 270,000 people. It is just the latest place to be affected by an uptick in violence in a country that has experienced more than three decades of protracted conflict, seriously hampering poverty reduction and development.

Although Taliban fighters have been largely driven out of Ghazni city centre after last week’s attacks, house-to-house “clearing operations” are ongoing, according to OCHA.

Amid continuing insecurity, the remaining 25 to 30 aid organizations with a presence in the city “have basically hunkered down”, the agency’s spokesperson told journalists in Geneva.

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