By Abdulhaq Omeri
Paktia officials warned on Tuesday of a planned Taliban attack against Gardez city. Provincial police chiefRaz Mohammad Mandozai said that Taliban were planning to conduct a group attack on the city and that security had been tightened up.However, he raised concerns over not having enough security forces in the city.“For the past few months and especially after the Ghazni incident, based on intelligence information, there are some threats against Paktia’s districts and the capital Gardez city but security measures are being taken because insurgents will take their dreams with them to the grave if they attack Paktia districts and the center like they did in Ghazni,” Mandozai said.
Meanwhile, Paktia residents and provincial council members said that if central government does not pay attention to their concerns the city will fall to the Taliban.
“Taliban leadership is mostly controlled by the foreign Taliban and they want to conduct the same attack on Gardez city, like Ghazni, and other districts because there are lots of insurgents that exist in parts of the city,” said Taj Mohammad Mangal Paktia provincial council member.
“Almost all the districts of the province are under threat,” said Mohammad Rahman Qadiri another provincial council member.
“We want government to pay attention to Gardez city so Gardez does not face the same fate as Ghazni faced. The government must prevent (attacks) otherwise who will be responsible for the losses of people and businessmen,” said Atta a Gardez resident.
Paktia provincial police said that most of the Taliban that fled Ghazni city are now scattered through Paktia province and are planning to attack Gardez city.
These concerns come after the Taliban stormed Ghazni City – 148 kilometers southwest of Kabul – at around 1am Kabul time on Friday 10th of August.
Hundreds of Taliban fighters were involved and held the city under siege for four days.