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11 August 2018, 10:06 | Erica Roy
Smoke rises into the air after Taliban militants launched an attack on the Afghan provincial capital Ghazni
Officials said clashes between government forces and the Taliban started overnight, forcing authorities to close the highway linking it to Kabul, 150 kilometres (95 miles) to the northeast.
On August 9, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said 27 Afghan soldiers were killed and five wounded in the assault. Power has been cut to the area since fighting erupted.
'We are scared for our life. He said the bodies of the Taliban fighters were found under a bridge in the southern part of Ghazni.
Another resident, Yasan, said the Taliban were using loudspeakers at the mosque to warn residents to stay in their homes.
By mid-morning, sporadic gunfire could still be heard in the city, some residents said. "We are terrified", Yasan wrote in a Facebook post.
The Taliban began the attack late Thursday from several positions around the city, provincial police chief Farid Ahmad Mashal told AFP.
Votel said he wants to look at minimizing vulnerabilities to Afghan forces, and especially wants to look at employment of high-end Afghan special operations forces and ensuring those forces are used correctly and not overused.
The base was back under control of security forces, said Radmanish but the attack has caused significant damage and weapons losses.
'Afghan forces held their ground and maintain control of all government centres. "Another failed attempt by Taliban to seize terrain, while creating strategically inconsequential headlines", it continued. "There has not been a single minute of silence for the last eight hours", said a senior government official in Ghazni early in the day.
More than 1,000 Taliban fighters struck at night, shelling homes and destroying police checkpoints.
Heavy fighting was ongoing as of Friday afternoon in the city, where Afghan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces were engaging fighters "by air and ground", Noori said.
A local hospital said at least 14 Afghan policemen had been killed in the fighting, while security officials said there were dozens of dead Taliban fighters. Taliban militants and insurgents belonging to the other groups have been active in Ghazni province, and Taliban fighters captured a district there and killed its governor in April.
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.
An unprecedented truce in June brought fighting between security forces and the Taliban to a temporary halt, giving war-weary Afghans some welcome relief from violence.
The insurgents have also so far ignored an offer by Ghani in February of unconditional peace negotiations.
The attack on Ghazni comes as the Taliban faces growing pressure to agree to peace talks with the Afghan government to end the 17-year war.
The Taliban has long insisted on direct talks with the United States.
But a spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan said fighting had "ceased" as of Friday morning.
Last month Taliban representatives met USA officials for talks in Qatar.
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