Afghan officials: Taliban attack eastern provincial capital Ghazni

Afghan officials: Taliban attack eastern provincial capital Ghazni

The Taliban launched an attack Friday on one of Afghanistan's key cities, seizing buildings and exchanging fire with security forces during an air and ground battle that led to US forces' assistance.

Terrified Ghazni residents cowered in their homes amid explosions and gunfire as security forces fought to beat the insurgents back.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense said the Taliban attack on Ghazni City had been pushed back, with the attackers sustaining heavy casualties.

The attack around 80 miles south of Kabul was the militants' second all-out assault on a provincial capital this year and was one of their most audacious operations to date.

It said around 150 attackers had been killed or wounded but gave no estimate of casualties for civilians or security forces.

A spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan said the fighting had "ceased" Friday morning, hours after the insurgents began the assault late Thursday from several positions around the city.

Sporadic gunfire continued to echo amid intermittent clashes, with officials telling residents to stay in their homes as Taliban fighters roamed the streets.

A second government official said it was too risky for people to leave their homes and he had no immediate details on casualties.

Ghazni police chief General Farid Ahmad Mashal said the Taliban seized several parts of the city, which has been under threat for months with heavy fighting in surrounding districts.

More news: Turkey Lira crisis in pictures: Locals sell wealth to save currency
More news: Tom Lee: "Bitcoin Is The Best House In A Tough Neighborhood"
More news: Key Man Fit But Emery Without 3 Players For Man City Clash

Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan Liu Jinsong said on Wednesday the level of distrust between the Afghan government and the Taliban is a key obstacle in the way of achieving peace in the country and that this issue has created serious challenges.

The US said that the city remained under government control.

The attack on Ghazni comes as the Taliban faces growing pressure to agree to peace talks with the Afghan government to end the 17-year war.

The Taliban frequently exaggerate their battlefield gains and downplay losses incurred during fighting.

The Taliban fighters set fire to the local TV building and also destroyed the telecommunications tower, located just outside the city, cutting all cellphone and land line access to Ghazni, said Ali Akbar Kasemi, a lawmaker from the city.

As fighting continued throughout the day, he said US forces returned, sending attack helicopters and fighter jets back to the area.

Taliban leaders have ignored an offer by the government of direct peace negotiations.

But Washington indicated a change in its longstanding policy in June when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was prepared to "support, facilitate and participate" in talks. "In addition, U.S. aircraft conducted a show of presence", Lt Col. Martin O'Donnell, spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said in an emailed statement.

Last month Taliban representatives met USA officials for talks in Qatar.

Related Articles

  • Questions being raised about impact of West Nile Virus in Belmont County

    Questions being raised about impact of West Nile Virus in Belmont County

    Symptoms include high fever, convulsions and muscle weakness, and the illness can put someone in a comatose state. One bird has died from the virus and 11 sentinel chickens have been diagnosed with the virus.
    Rescuers evacuate 750 campers as flash floods hit in France

    Rescuers evacuate 750 campers as flash floods hit in France

    About 17,000 homes in southwest and northeast France were without power and several roads were closed as a result of the floods. Many roads in the area were left cut off, with the authorities urged members of the public to be prepared for more disruption.
    Rand pushes past 14 to dollar as Turkey woes weigh on currency

    Rand pushes past 14 to dollar as Turkey woes weigh on currency

    The fall of the lira has accelerated dramatically in 2018, but Friday's one-day collapse far eclipsed any previous slide. The tensions with Washington have, for investors, underscored Turkey's authoritarian trajectory under Erdogan.
  • DOOM Eternal gets bloody gameplay footage

    The expanded toolbox will come in quite handy in DOOM Eternal , which features twice as many demons as its predecessor . For now, rest easy knowing you'll be able to slaughter plenty more demons in plenty more ways wherever you go.
    Manchester United down Leicester in Premier League opener

    Manchester United down Leicester in Premier League opener

    The Barcelona boss is looking for a player who can lead his midfield and believes the French International could step into the boots.
    Redskins rookie RB Guice to miss season with torn ACL

    Redskins rookie RB Guice to miss season with torn ACL

    Washington Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. Washington will open up the season on the road in Arizona on September 9.
  • Turkey currency crashes as Trump doubles metals tariffs

    Turkey currency crashes as Trump doubles metals tariffs

    Trump raised the stakes on Friday when he said that his administration would double its tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. However, these new sanctions may have a reverse effect, and could end up being more beneficial to Russian Federation .
    27 dead in Kerala rains, 2 more Idukki shutters opened

    27 dead in Kerala rains, 2 more Idukki shutters opened

    The Chief Minister, who has cancelled all his public functions till August 12, will monitor the situation from the state capital. Vijayan said the state would submit a detailed memorandum to the Centre seeking financial assistance for taking up relief works.
    The View Is Adding A Fox News Host To Replace Sara Haines

    The View Is Adding A Fox News Host To Replace Sara Haines

    Now, sources close to " The View " tell Page Six that while "a deal isn't done", the show "is very interested in a role for her". Abby has been in the running for weeks as a replacement for Sara Haines , along with CNN contributor Ana Navarro .
  • Paul Pogba skippers Manchester United on opening night

    Paul Pogba skippers Manchester United on opening night

    The youngster has only three Leicester goals to his name since signing past year , and a goal could boost the confidence of the mercurial attacker.
    Busy Everton end transfer deadline day satisfied thanks to arrivals from Barcelona

    Busy Everton end transfer deadline day satisfied thanks to arrivals from Barcelona

    I have spoken a lot to the coach and I know his passion for Everton and determination to be successful. When I found out about this opportunity and what the manager wanted out of me I was happy.
    IPhone X smokes Galaxy Note 9 in speed tests

    IPhone X smokes Galaxy Note 9 in speed tests

    The Galaxy pattern is really popular right now and they were trying to do a play off of the phone type itself: Samsung Galaxy. The Note 9 is also a big phone - so if you're a fan of smaller screens then you'll probably want to stick with the iPhone.