All Govt Centers 'Under ANDSF Control' In Ghazni City

Taliban Launch Major Attack On Afghan City Casualties Officials

Dozens of Afghan soldiers killed in attack on base

The base was back under control of security forces, said Radmanish but the attack has caused significant damage and weapons losses.

Taliban fighters hiding inside homes in the city's residential areas slipped into the streets attacking Afghan security forces, provincial police chief Farid Ahmad Mashal told The Associated Press.

Several bodies of dead Taliban fighters remained on the street after the government pushed back the Taliban from the city, the police chief said. He was anxious more wounded could be out there as the city was shut down and ambulances were not being sent out.

They came close to repeating the feat in 2016, and in May this year they almost overran the western city of Farah before being beaten back with the aid of USA forces. "There has not been a single minute of silence for the last eight hours", said a senior government official in Ghazni.

Mashal said there were more than 100 other casualties but he could not give a breakdown of the dead and wounded.

The Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in 2014.

USA forces "responded with close-air support" in Ghazni, while Afghan security forces "held their ground" and maintained control of all government buildings.

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Local officials said several hundred Taliban forces had attacked the sleeping city, seized official buildings, burned police posts and announced victory from mosque loud speakers.

The Taliban have so far failed to take and hold any provincial center since they overran the northern city of Kunduz in 2015 before being driven off with the support of US air strikes and Special Forces units.

United States attack helicopters and drone aircraft helped government forces fight back.

Police special forces have also been deployed to help block the Taliban advance, an Afghan security official said.

"US forces responded with close-air support (US attack helicopters) and conducted one strike (drone)". He also told the AP over the phone that Taliban anti-aircraft fire downed the Afghan army helicopter.

Another Taliban attack, on Thursday night in western Herat province, left six policemen dead in the district of Obe, according to the governor's spokesman, Gelani Farhad. The road from Kabul to Afghanistan's southern provinces was also closed because it runs through Ghazni. "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.

An Islamic State affiliate has carried out dozens of deadly attacks in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and minority Shiites.

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