Taliban fighters storm Afghanistan's Ghazni

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 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

Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for USA forces in Afghanistan, said that the insurgents had attacked "multiple government centers" in Ghazni, a populous city about 100 miles south of Kabul on a major national highway, but that they were driven back.

Several bodies of dead Taliban fighters remained on the street after the government pushed back the Taliban from the city, the police chief said. So far two civilians were wounded, but Hemat said the city was shut down and ambulances were not being sent out.

Earlier this year the Taliban briefly took the western city of Farah, and for periods in both 2015 and 2016 the militants overran Kunduz, in the north. He said three Taliban had been killed and eight wounded.

Mashal said there were more than 100 other casualties but he could not give a breakdown of the dead and wounded.

A second government official said it was too unsafe for people to leave their homes and he had no immediate details on casualties.

By midday Friday, O'Donnell said fighting continued inside Ghazni, prompting the US forces to return American attack helicopters and fighter jets to the area after they were initially pulled back. Bodies of 39 Taliban fighters were recovered from beneath a bridge in the southern edge of the city. Afghan officials said only one of its fighters was confirmed killed, but a Taliban spokesman said 140 enemy forces were dead.

United States forces responded with attack helicopters and a drone strike, according to US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell.

Phil Thompson predicts where Liverpool FC, Man City will finish
Any hope with which Manchester United supporters woke up on transfer deadline day has quickly been quashed by Jose Mourinho .

A spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, Shah Hussain Murtazawi, said that by midday Afghan forces were in full control of the city.

"It is a show of presence", he said.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, asserted that 46 Afghan soldiers died in the clashes at the base and a number of checkpoints and "not killed in Taliban detention centers".

There were conflicting reports from residents and local officials, however, with some reporting that Taliban fighters were still roaming parts of the city and that gunfire continued throughout the day, while frightened residents hid in their homes. The road from Kabul to Afghanistan's southern provinces was also closed because it runs through Ghazni. With the outer defences breached, the insurgents seized control of several districts, advancing to within a few hundred metres of the governor's office and police headquarters.

Pompeo also said the role of foreign forces in Afghanistan would be on the table.

An Islamic State affiliate has carried out dozens of deadly attacks in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and minority Shiites.

Latest News