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Fighting erupts as Taliban launch attack on Ghazni

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Fierce fighting erupted after Taliban fighters launched massive attacks on Ghazni City, capital of Ghazni province, officials said Friday.

The Taliban fighters attacked the provincial capital from different sides and seized some areas but were soon repulsed by security forces, Farid Ubaidi, secretary to governor Ghazni, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

He said threat of the fall of city to Taliban was eliminated.

A government official in Ghazni told AIP on condition of anonymity that the attack was launched at approximately 1:00 a.m.(local time) and the Taliban were able to break security cordon and capture some police stations and posts.

He said the Taliban reached the heart of the city and attacked governor’s compound, police headquarters and office National Directorate of Security (NDS).

He, however, said the security forces strongly retaliated, killing and wounding tens of Taliban fighters.

Muhammad Arif Noori, spokesman of Ghazni governor, claimed the Taliban were defeated following strong retaliation by security forces and sporadic fighting continues in few areas of Ghazni city.

He said the Taliban would soon be ousted from the city.

“Two police and 30 Taliban have been killed and 10 cops wounded during the clashes so far.

Residents of Ghazni said fighting continues in the city streets, adding Taliban seized some areas.

According to AIP information, the NDS provincial head was under Taliban siege in the outskirts of the city but offering resistance.

Ghazni police said in a post of their official Facebook page that the enemy again attacked security posts of the city but the troops were fighting with high morale and the enemy would be sent to the grave with their desire to capture Ghazni.

The police claimed that situation was completely normal and provincial police chief Farid Ahmad Mashal was directly fighting Taliban.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in statement that the Taliban seized all the city police stations, police headquarters, security posts, Bala Hisar, Television Tapa and other areas. He said only the NDS office was in the control of government forces but fighting continued for its control, adding 140 government troops have been killed and wounded so far.

Announcing general amnesty to the troops who lay down arms, the Taliban said, “If the remaining troops in Ghazni City surrender, the mujahideen guarantee them protection of life.  If they continue fighting, they would soon be killed.”

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