Afghanistan: Over 100 dead in Taliban attacks in Ghazni

Intense fighting as Taliban presses to take Afghan city

Heavy fighting in Ghazni as Afghan forces battle Taliban

However, the provincial IEC chief told TOLOnews at about 11am that the Independent Election Commission's offices in the city were on fire after being torched by the Taliban.

"Fear is spreading in Ghazni as the day ends, the Taliban might intensify their attack as it gets dark".

"Afghan government welcomes any effort regarding the Afghan peace process, especially those attempts which can lead us to an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process", said Taheri. After a day of intense fighting, Afghan commandos and United States air strikes drove the group to the outskirts of the city.

Most of the telecommunication towers in the city have been blown up making communications hard.

The first reports of the attacks surfaced on Friday, with local media reporting heavy losses for the Taliban, having lost over 100 militants. After a day of intense fighting, Afghan commandos and US air strikes drove the group to the outskirts of the city.

A spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan said the fighting had "ceased" as of today morning, hours after the insurgents began the assault late yesterday from several positions around the city.

Short videos circulating on social media, purported to be from Ghazni, showed a number of heavily armed Taliban patrolling in the city with a large plume of smoke and flames coming out from the town.

"High profile talks by foreign governments with the Taliban that exclude the Afghan government risk providing too much legitimacy to the Taliban without getting much in return", Wilder said.

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But information about who controlled the city was hard to confirm with power and mobile services cut to the area after the Taliban destroyed a telecommunications tower, according to Ghazni MP Shah Gul Rezaye.

"The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces continue to hold their ground and maintain control of all government centers", in Ghazni, he said in a statement.

"Only the governor's office, police headquarters and intelligence agency's compound are in the hands of the government and Taliban are pushing to take them", said Chaman Shah Ehtemadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni.

The Kabul-Ghazni highway was out of bounds for traffic and civilians during the clashes between the Taliban and government forces, the police said.

Coincidentally, the rescue of Afghan Uzbeks from the battle with the Taliban came just days after Dostum returned to Afghanistan and reconciled with Ghani's government. The Taliban said they expect another round of talks.

Instead, they appear intent on seeking a position of strength ahead of expected talks with the United States, which has been at war in Afghanistan for almost 17 years. Although Kabul is also supplied from Pakistan, the trade route to Iran and the Gulf supplies the northern half or the country with many essentials.

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 global troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to peace prospects and possible Uzbek-funded development projects that could include railway lines and electricity.

The Taliban were ousted from power in 2011 following a U.S. invasion and ongoing occupation of the country.

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