Taliban storm Ghazni; Afghan forces beat terrorists back


Heavily armed Taliban terrorists attacked the strategic central Afghan city of Ghazni on Friday, burning police checkpoints and seizing control of parts of the center before being driven back, officials said.
But with Taliban terrorists believed to be hiding in residential areas, it was unclear whether the government had full control of the city, Reuters wrote.
The attack on a city straddling the main highway between the capital Kabul and southern Afghanistan was a show of strength for the Taliban, underscoring how volatile the security situation remains less than three months before parliamentary elections in October.
The Defense Ministry in Kabul said the attackers had been beaten back but were still present in one area of the city and had occupied civilian houses, from where they were still keeping up occasional fire on security forces clearing the area.
It said around 150 attackers had been killed or wounded but gave no estimate of casualties for civilians or security forces. A local health official said at least 16 people had been killed.
Ghazni police chief General Farid Ahmad Mashal said the Taliban seized several parts of the city, which has been under threat for months with heavy fighting in surrounding districts.
As helicopters circled overhead in the early morning (Friday), a government official said it was too dangerous for people to leave their homes.