Clashes Continue After Taliban Attack On Afghan City Of Ghazni

Clashes Continue After Taliban Attack On Afghan City Of Ghazni”

Taliban militants stormed the city from several directions on Friday.

For all the talk of peace negotiations, the Taliban have stepped up attacks on provincial centers and the capital Kabul this year, demonstrating their continued ability to hit the US -supported forces. No government buildings were contested, which led the U.S. statement to conclude it was "inconsequential".

A spokesman for United States forces in Afghanistan also described the fight for Ghazni as a clearance operation, with sporadic clashes between security forces and insurgents punctuating relative calm.

City hospital administrator Baz Mohammad Hemat said two wounded civilians were treated there.

The videos could not be independently verified but they generated heavy commentary by social media users that underlined the shock caused by the attack.

The U.S. -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission has carried out airstrikes in support of Afghan forces.

Mr Danish said at least 25 security forces had died in the fighting along with 150 Taliban fighters.

The attack comes as pressure continues on the Taliban to enter peace talks with the Afghan government.

The Taliban conducted an all-out assault on Ghazni, the capital of the Ghazni province on Friday.

The government in Kabul insisted that Ghazni was under its control but residents reported fierce clashes in several districts of the city and streets strewn with corpses.

Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahed, the Taliban spokesman, claimed in a series of tweets on Sunday that Zana Khan, Nawa, Jaghatu, Rasheedan and Khogyano districts surrounding Ghazni city have been overrun, and "multiple" security troops were killed and weapons seized.

Top security and government officials, including the military chief of staff, were now in Ghazni, leading the "clearing-up operations" in different parts of the city, Barmak said. The government had been considering a ceasefire over this month's Eid al Adha holiday to match a similar truce during June's Eid al Fitr holiday.

The fighting has brought the traffic to a halt, stranding hundreds of passengers for the past three days.

Earlier this year, the USA sent more military advisers to Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed that during the four-day visit in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, Taliban political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai met with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov as well as the country's presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Ismatilla Irgashev. Islamabad denies it is helping the Taliban.

Losing Ghazni to the Taliban would essentially cut Afghanistan in half, closing its second-busiest trade route.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban's political office, claimed that the bilateral talks had covered everything from worldwide troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to peace prospects and possible Uzbek-funded development projects that could include railway lines and electricity.

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