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Offbeat Taliban, Kabul govt both claim embattled Afghan city

10:25  11 august  2018
10:25  11 august  2018 Source:   msn.com

The Latest: Taliban storm Afghan army base, kill 17 troops

  The Latest: Taliban storm Afghan army base, kill 17 troops The spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Kabul says the Taliban have overrun a military base in northern Afghanistan, killing 17 soldiers and wounding at least 19 troops.11:30 a.m.

KABUL , Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents entered the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni before dawn on Friday, and within hours they claimed to have much of the provincial capital under their control.

Many people are hurt in a Taliban suicide attack in the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul . Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter: "The city of Paris and Parisians are with the Afghan people who are once again facing terrorist barbarity," she said.

Information about who controlled the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni was difficult to confirm with power and mobile services cut to the area after the Taliban destroyed a telecommunications tower© Provided by AFP Information about who controlled the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni was difficult to confirm with power and mobile services cut to the area after the Taliban destroyed a telecommunications tower

Both Taliban and government forces claimed they were in control of the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni Saturday, after insurgents stormed the provincial capital, triggering fierce fighting.

Afghan officials said they were in control of Ghazni late Friday with authorities in Kabul saying security forces were conducting a clearance operation targeting Taliban fighters who had taken up positions in residential homes.

US, Afghan forces battle Taliban in Ghazni

  US, Afghan forces battle Taliban in Ghazni Although the Taliban overran a remote base in northern Afghanistan, killing 17 soldiers, as Afghan forces battled the insurgents for the fifth straight day in the eastern city of Ghazni on Tuesday, the U.S. military reports, “Ghazni City remains under Afghan government control.” The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, but have since come to the aid of Afghan forces as they struggle to combat the resurgent Taliban. Although the Taliban overran a base in northern Afghanistan, and Afghan forces were battling insurgents for a fifth day in the eastern city of Ghazni on Tuesday, the U.S.

KABUL , Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents entered the southeastern Afghan city of Ghazni before dawn on Friday, and within hours they claimed to have much of the provincial capital They said both of the two helipads in the city were under attack and evacuation helicopters were struggling to land.

Afghan Taliban fighters have stormed Ghazni city , almost 150 kilometers southwest of Kabul . Heavy clashes are ongoing Friday between the insurgent group and government security forces. Residents and a member of the provincial council, Amanullah Kamrani

But information about who controlled the city was difficult 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 central government in Kabul said the situation in Ghazni was under their control, but we managed to contact officials in Ghazni who said that fighting was underway in areas surrounding Ghazni," said the parliamentarian.

Rezaye said additional reinforcements had been rushed to Ghazni late Friday, after US forces deployed attack helicopters and launched at least one drone strike to push back the Taliban fighters.

The Taliban, however, claimed victory saying their fighters were now in control of Ghazni after routing Afghan forces.

Afghan officials: Taliban attack in north kills 30 troops

  Afghan officials: Taliban attack in north kills 30 troops Afghan officials say a Taliban assault on two adjacent checkpoints in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 30 soldiers and police. Mohammad Safdar Mohseni, the head of the provincial council in the northern Baghlan province, said the insurgents set fire to the checkpoints after the attack late Tuesday in the Baghlan-I Markazi district. Dilawar Aymaq, a parliamentarian from Baghlan, confirmed the attack, which targeted a military checkpoint and another manned by the so-called local police, militias recruited and paid by the Interior Ministry.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kabul police station, and a In an unusual public statement, the National Directorate for Security, the Afghan intelligence agency, blamed the Haqqani Network, a guerrilla group linked to the Taliban , for both attacks.

KABUL , Afghanistan — The Taliban claimed to have captured the capital of the western province of Farah on Tuesday, while government officials and their American military backers vowed that the authorities would quickly oust insurgents from the city

"Last night, our mujahideen have completely conquered a battalion in Ghazni, seizing weapons and ammunition and four pickup trucks," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a message to journalists Saturday.

"Our mujahideen are protecting the city of Ghazni."

The insurgents frequently exaggerate their battlefield gains and downplay losses incurred during clashes.

Ghazni -- less than two hours by road from Kabul -- has been under increasing danger from massing Taliban fighters for months with reports suggesting insurgents had already infiltrated the city.

The attack, which began late Thursday, was the latest attempt by the Taliban to seize an urban centre and comes as pressure mounts on the insurgents to enter peace talks with the government to end the nearly 17-year-old war.

Afghan peace talks must include Kabul: US official .
A senior US diplomat insisted Monday that any Afghanistan peace talks must include the Kabul government, and would not occur directly between the Taliban and Washington. "Negotiations have to take place between the Afghan government and the Taliban, we are not a substitute for that," Alice Wells, the senior official for the State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asia Affairs, told AFP.Wells spoke directly with Taliban officials last month in Qatar to try to find a new path toward ending Afghanistan's 17-year conflict, according to several reports that she would not confirm or deny.

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