0124 GMT August 17, 2018
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said fresh reinforcements had arrived in the area and were battling Taliban north of Ghazni, promising that the terrorists were in no position to take control of the city, AFP wrote.
"The situation is fully under control. The city is not going to fall," Danish told a press conference, after confusion mounted over the fate of the city following hours of official silence.
Terrorists entered Ghazni from several directions late Thursday night, attacking media offices and damaging a telecommunications tower, effectively shutting off mobile service to the city as of Friday afternoon — making information about the fight difficult to verify.
An MP from Ghazni urged caution following Danish's press conference, saying heavy clashes continued to rage between the two sides.
"Intense fighting is still ongoing in Ghazni city. The prison is under attack from several directions, they are trying to free the prisoners," said Nafisa Azimi.
Danish said at least 25 security forces had died in the fighting along with 150 Taliban terrorists. At least one media worker from a local broadcaster was also killed.
Earlier Saturday the Taliban claimed victory in the fight for the embattled city, saying their forces were in control of Ghanzi after routing Afghan troops.
The terrorists frequently exaggerate their battlefield gains and downplay losses incurred during fighting.
Ghazni — less than two hours by road from Kabul — has been under increasing danger from massing Taliban terrorists for months with reports suggesting they had already infiltrated the city.
The attack was the latest attempt by the Taliban to seize an urban center and comes as pressure mounts on the terrorists to enter peace talks with the government to end the nearly 17-year-old war.