KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — An estimated 100 civilians have been killed in the past week, including some women and children who were beheaded, in a Taliban offensive in eastern Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, a provincial deputy governor said Friday.
Hundreds of Taliban insurgents stormed the province’s Ajristan district last week, sparking intense, ongoing battles between them and Afghan security forces, said Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Ghazni’s deputy governor. The Taliban have taken a large number of villages in the area, he said.
The insurgents beheaded at least 15 people, including women and children, on Thursday, Ahmadi said,
An exact number of people killed in the last week isn’t known, in part because authorities don’t have an adequate communication system that could help tally the dead, 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 in the last almost a week,” he said, adding that the country’s government in Kabul promised on Friday that air support would be sent.