"Strategic locations and centres in the city are under the control of Afghan forces and the Taleban are hiding inside people's homes and shops and resisting", Yaftali told reporters at a news conference in Kabul. However, he was unaware of casualties. "The Taliban are roaming everywhere in and around the city", shopkeeper Mohammad Haleem said. The Taliban have not yet commented on the incident.
Zabihullah Mujahid said in a social media post that the group had captured Ghazni's main prison and freed many inmates, but Afghan officials could not immediately confirm the statement.
Along a 3-mile stretch of the city, there were four Taliban checkpoints, each with a commandeered auto and a pair of motorcycles among four fighters, who appeared on their guard but unworried.
The Taliban have contested several provincial capitals over the past few years, and generally speaking have launched smaller raids against security forces, trying to soften them up and challenge the defenses within, before making serious attempts to capture them outright. At the height of the troop surge ordered by former U.S. President Barack Obama, thousands of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops were deployed in the city and province, including more than 2,500 from Poland.
It was not possible to verify the claims because the Taliban destroyed a nearby communications tower, cutting off cellphone and landline access to the city.
There have so far been no reports of casualties but according to sources clashes between insurgents and security forces from the convoy are ongoing.
As fighting continued throughout the day, he said US forces returned, sending attack helicopters and fighter jets back to the area. Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for USA forces in Afghanistan, said Afghan forces were engaged in a "cleanup operation", while acknowledging for the first time that "some US advisers were on the ground".
"Only the governor's office, police headquarters and intelligence agency's compound are in the hands of the government and Taleban are pushing to take them", said Chaman Shah Ehtemadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni.
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Mohammad Rahim Hasanyar, a senator from the province, said reinforcements from the capital, Kabul, had not moved past Rawza, a town located 2km north-east of Ghazni, the capital of the province of the same name.
"The fact remains that the Taliban are unable to seize terrain and unable to match the Afghan security forces or our enablement, retreating once directly and decisively engaged", said Lt. Colonel Martin O'Donnell.
But the Taliban have so far ignored Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of unconditional peace negotiations even though their representatives met United States officials in Qatar last month and are to hold another meeting next month.
A US -led coalition drove the Taliban from power after Al-Qaeda militants - whose leaders were being sheltered in Afghanistan - carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
It was also the largest tactical operation by the Taliban since an unprecedented ceasefire in June brought fighting between security forces and the Taliban to a temporary halt, giving war-weary Afghans some welcome relief from the bloodshed.
But Daniel Markey, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said USA policymakers should be concerned.
Andrew Wilder, vice-president of Asia programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said the Taliban's attack on Ghazni was "a well-timed effort to demonstrate their military power to strengthen their negotiating position prior to another cease-fire and in the event of peace talks".
Insecurity recently increased dramatically in Ghazni province, which led to the Independent Election Commission delaying parliamentary elections in the province.