Taliban and Kabul government forces claimed embattled Afghan city

Vastavam web: Both Taliban and government forces claimed they were in control of the eastern Afghan city of Ghazni today, after insurgents stormed the provincial capital, triggering fierce fighting.Afghan officials said they were in control of Ghazni late yesterday with authorities in Kabul saying security forces were conducting a clearance operation targeting Taliban fighters who had taken up positions in residential homes.

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.Rezaye said additional reinforcements had been rushed to Ghazni late yesterday, 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.”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 today.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.