The FINANCIAL -- Afghan government forces are battling the Taliban in Ghazni for a fourth straight day after the militant group launched an assault on the eastern city, officials say.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said reinforcements had been sent to Ghazni, the capital of the province of the same name, and were trying to clear the city of Taliban on August 13.
Afghan officials were quoted as saying that American special forces units were on the ground helping to coordinate air strikes and ground operations but that was not confirmed by the U.S. military, according to RFE/RL.
Ghazni is a strategic city located on the main road linking the capital, Kabul, with southern Afghanistan.
Three days after the militants launched their assault on the city of 270,000 people early on August 10, information was difficult to verify with telecommunications services being shut down due to the clashes.
About 100 soldiers and police have been killed and many wounded, according to a security official who said casualties on the Taliban side have also been heavy.
Officials at the Interior Ministry were cited as saying that the fighting also left at least 15 civilians dead and more than 400 others wounded.
Meanwhile, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) called on the parties to "protect the lives and rights of civilians and to protect civilian infrastructure," particularly medical facilities.