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Afghan forces Battle the Taliban in Ghazni, a key city

CABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban Revolution entered the south-eastern Afghan city of Ghazni before dawn on Friday, and within a few hours they claimed they had a lot of provincial capital under their control. If confirmed, the route would be the insurgency's most important strategic profit this year.

The heads of government denied that the city had fallen, but they acknowledged that the insurgency was within 300 meters of the governor's office and police headquarters.

The battle is ongoing, but the entire city has not been taken by the Taliban, said Mohammad Arif Noori, spokesman for Ghazni Governor, by telephone. "We will not allow them to take the city."

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the insurgency had infiltrated every part of the city. "Hundreds of Mujahedeen entered the city, captured police headquarters and all six police areas and an important military base, Bala Hesar," Mujahid said in an e-mail statement.

"An attack is taking place at the governor's office, N.D.S. headquarters and other state offices," he said, using the acronym of the Ministry of Security, Afghanistan's information agency.

Even as Afghan officials claimed that they had largely refrained from the Taliban attack, the residents of the phone said in several quarters that the Taliban were fighting all their power, bringing fighters from as many districts and provinces as they could, says a resident , Nasir Ahmad Faqiri. "There are Taliban militants on all roads and streets in the city, but they face strong opposition from government forces."

The Ghazni attack was the second definite attack on an Afghan city this year. In May, rioters crossed Farah's western city, but they left one day later against contrast from the Afghan government and US airstrikes.

The only other Afghan city that has fallen to the Taliban was Kunduz, in the fourth north, which immigrants shortly occupied twice, 2015 and 2016. Neither Farah nor Kunduz were as strategically important as Ghazni, the capital of Ghazni Province.

Ghazni, as the Afghan government says has a population of 280,000, is on the ring road, also known as Highway 1, the important north-south road between Kabul, the capital and Kandahar, the country's second largest city. Travelers in Kandahar on Friday reported turning back because the uprisings had blocked the highway.

If the Taliban took Ghazni and held it, they would essentially have detained the traditional Taliban homelands in the south from northern Afghanistan and the capital. Mujahid said the insurgency had closed the ring road to prevent gains from reaching Ghazni.

Brig. Gene. Mohammad Radmanish, the spokesman for the Afghan Department of Defense, denied Ghazni was under serious threat. "It's just propaganda from the Taliban. The whole city is under the control of Afghan forces," he said, adding that no single Afghan soldier had been killed in the fighting.

Many areas of the Ghazni province have been harshly questioned by the uprisings in recent years, but this was the first serious attempt to take the provincial capital.

Mr. Noori, the governor's spokesman, said that a police had been killed and seven other officers had been injured. Reinforcements began to arrive in the city on Friday, but the government was prevented from performing airstrikes because the insurgency worked in civilian districts.

"Command commanders respond to the Taliban attack, but we do not carry out airbreaks to prevent civilian victims," ​​said Mr Noori. He accused the Taliban of using the civilian population as human shields. Eight civilians had been hurt for so long. ] A New York Times reporter who visited Ghazni in May found residents complaining that many Taliban rebels were already in the city and even collected taxes from residents. Many expressed concern that the city would soon be attacked.

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