The US forces in Afghanistan confirm that there were attacks on multiple government centers in Ghazni City on Thursday night.
“We can confirm that there were attacks last night on multiple government centers in Ghazni City, Ghazni province,” Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, told TOLOnews.
He said fighting has since ceased (at around 8am Kabul time).
The spokesman said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces held their ground and maintain control of all government centers.
“US forces responded with close-air support (US attack helicopters) and conducted one strike (drone). In addition, US aircraft conducted a show of presence,” Mr. O’Donnell told TOLOnews.
Initial reports indicate minimal Afghan security force casualties, he said in a statement on Friday.
“This is yet another failed Taliban attempt to seize terrain, which will result in yet another eye-catching, but strategically inconsequential headline,” he said.
Taliban stormed Ghazni City – in the center of Afghanistan – 148 kilometers southwest of Kabul, at around 2am Kabul time on Friday.
Taliban has said in a statement that the group stormed Ghazni City from different sides.
Ghazni police said Kabul-Ghazni Highway has been closed to traffic following heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban.
Hamidullah Nawrozi, member of Ghazni Provincial Council, told TOLOnews that "Ghazni city will fall to the Taliban if reinforcements were not sent".
Meanwhile, Ghazni Police Chief Farid Ahmad Mashal said the Ghazni City is under the control of government forces as he talked to TOLOnews at around 8:30am Kabul time.
He rejected the claims that Taliban has entered the city.
The police chief said clashes are ongoing in Khogyani, Khwaja Omari and Zanakhan areas on the outskirts of Ghazni City.
Recently, insecurity has increased in Ghazni province. The increasing insecurity has resulted in a decision by the Independent Election Commission to delay the upcoming parliamentary election in the province.