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Afghanistan forces repel Taliban assault on Ghazni metropolis with assist from US air energy

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters tried to overrun a provincial capital in Afghanistan early on Friday, hiding inside houses earlier than slipping into metropolis streets within the night time to assault safety forces and killing no less than 14 policemen earlier than being pushed again, officers mentioned. The in a single day assault within the southeastern metropolis of Ghazni, the capital of a province with the identical title, additionally wounded no less than 20 members of the safety forces, mentioned Baz Mohammad Hemat, the administrator of the Ghazni metropolis hospital.

One other Taliban assault, this one on Thursday night time in western Herat province, left six policemen lifeless within the district of Obe, in keeping with the governor’s spokesman, Gelani Farhad.

The brazen assaults by the Taliban, who’ve been gaining extra floor of their annual spring offensive and who’ve shrugged off the federal government’s newest presents of a cease-fire and negotiations, underscore the difficulties Afghan forces face in battling the relentless insurgency on their very own in efforts to finish the almost 17-year struggle.

In Ghazni, the assault started round 2 a.m. with intense gunbattles raging and fires burning in a number of outlets within the metropolis’s residential areas, provincial police chief Farid Ahmad Mashal instructed The Related Press.

After repulsing the daring assault, police performed house-to-house searches for any remaining Taliban fighters. An investigation as additionally underway on how the insurgents had managed to infiltrate so deep into the town, barely 75 miles south of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Hemat, the hospital administrator, mentioned two wounded civilians have been additionally dropped at the hospital however that the town was shut down and that ambulances weren’t being despatched out.

Mashal mentioned there have been greater than 100 different casualties however he couldn’t give a breakdown of the lifeless and wounded. A lot of the casualties have been Taliban, he mentioned.

A number of our bodies of lifeless Taliban fighters remained on the road after authorities compelled pushed the insurgents from Ghazni, the police chief mentioned. Our bodies of 39 Taliban fighters have been recovered from beneath a bridge within the southern fringe of the town.

Airstrikes known as in to quash the offensive additionally killed dozens of Taliban, Mashal mentioned. Protection Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish mentioned the military had helped the police and that the town was introduced below management of presidency forces.

Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, mentioned American forces and U.S. assault helicopters assisted Afghan troops in pushing again the Taliban throughout the night time’s a number of assaults in Ghazni.

“U.S. forces responded with close-air help and performed one drone strike,” O’Donnell mentioned.

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan added in a tweet that it was “one other failed try by Taliban to grab terrain, whereas creating strategically inconsequential headlines.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed components of Ghazni had been seized and scores of individuals killed.

After daybreak Friday, Ghazni’s residents have been staying indoors and all outlets within the metropolis remained closed. The street from Kabul to Afghanistan’s southern provinces was additionally closed as a result of it runs by Ghazni.

By mid-morning, sporadic gunfire might nonetheless be heard in metropolis, some residents mentioned. There have been nonetheless Taliban fighters who had hunkered down in elevated positions from which they have been nonetheless capturing, the residents mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity for concern for his or her security.

The Taliban have to date not confirmed being behind the sooner assault in Herat during which no less than six policemen have been killed at a district checkpoint.

The Taliban have stepped up assaults throughout the nation since NATO and the USA formally ended their fight mission in 2014, and have seized management of a number of districts. U.S. and NATO forces stay in Afghanistan primarily in a supporting and coaching position.

An Islamic State affiliate has carried out dozens of lethal assaults lately, primarily focusing on safety forces and minority Shiites.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Related Press contributed to this report.

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