Offbeat Taliban, Kabul govt both claim embattled Afghan city

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

Afghanistan announces Muslim Eid holiday ceasefire with Taliban

  Afghanistan announces Muslim Eid holiday ceasefire with Taliban Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents from Monday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, despite the heavy fighting seen over recent days in the central city of Ghazni. "The conditional ceasefire will start tomorrow and it will continue as long as the Taliban preserves and respects it," he said in an Afghan Independence Day ceremony in Kabul."We call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long-lasting and real peace," he said.A senior official in Ghani's office said the "conditional" ceasefire would run for three months.

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.

Afghan officials: Taliban take at least 100 people hostage

  Afghan officials: Taliban take at least 100 people hostage Afghan officials say the Taliban have taken more than 100 people, including women and children, hostage in an ambush in the country's north. This comes despite President Ashraf Ghani's call for a cease-fire with the Taliban during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

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.

Officials: At least 25 killed in Kabul suicide attack

  Officials: At least 25 killed in Kabul suicide attack <p>At least 25 people were killed when a suicide attacker struck an education center in a minority Shiite area of western Kabul on Wednesday, officials said, the latest assault in Afghanistan's war-weary capital.</p> At least 25 people were killed when a suicide attacker struck an education center in a minority Shiite area of western Kabul on Wednesday, officials said, the latest assault in Afghanistan's war-weary capital.

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.

Taliban fighters launch attack on Afghanistan's Ghazni province .
Taliban forces launched a coordinated attack on the provincial city of Ghazni in Afghanistan, south of the capital Kabul, in the early hours of Friday, according to the government and the Taliban. Afghan soldiers fought back as militants converged from four sides of the province, resulting in multiple casualties on all sides, Ghazni provincial government spokesman Mohammad Arif Noori told CNN. Sporadic gunfire could still be heard in the provincial city as Afghan forces exchanged fire with militants.

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