Taliban Forces Storm Major Afghan City Before Being Repelled By U.S.-Backed Government Forces by Pamela Constable and Sayed Salahuddin – Washington Post
KABUL - Taliban insurgent forces launched a fierce pre-dawn attack Friday on the eastern Afghan provincial capital of Ghazni, overrunning government buildings amid heavy fighting before being driven out by U.S.-backed Afghan forces, officials said Friday.
The surprise ground assault was reminiscent of previous concerted Taliban efforts to capture other provincial capitals including Kunduz in the north, Farah in the west and Lashkar Gah in the south. The attack on Ghazni, the first major urban assault since May, came despite efforts by Afghan and U.S. officials to encourage the Taliban to begin peace talks and agree to a second cease-fire after a successful three-day truce in June.
Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said the insurgents attacked “multiple government centers” in Ghazni, a populous city about 100 miles south of Kabul on a major national highway. But he said they were driven back. Most of the fighting was over by about 8 a.m.
U.S. attack helicopters aided Afghan forces and there was a drone strike, he added…