A Taliban offensive in eastern Afghanistan left an estimated 100 civilians dead or wounded in the past week, including some women and children who were beheaded, a provincial deputy governor said Friday. Hundreds of Taliban insurgents stormed Ghazni province’s Ajristan district last week, sparking intense, ongoing battles with Afghan security forces, said Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Ghazni’s deputy governor. The Taliban have taken over a large number of villages in the area, he added.
The insurgents beheaded at least 15 people, including women and children, on Thursday, Ahmadi said.The exact number of people killed in the last week isn’t known, in part because authorities don’t have an adequate communications system that could help tally the figures, Ahmadi said.
“We only have local police forces and a small number of Afghan National Army personnel fighting a huge number of well-armed Taliban in the area,” he said, adding that the country’s government in Kabul promised Friday that air support would be sent to the region.