The Afghanistan government on Monday said that at least 70 police personnel and 20 civilians have been killed in four days in the battle against Taliban forces in Ghazni city. Afghan Minister of Defense Tariq Shah Bahrami said that insurgents had also been killed in the fighting, Tolo News reported.

The Afghan defence minister said that Pakistani, Chechen and Arab militants were also fighting alongside the Taliban in Ghazni. The Taliban had launched an attack on the city early on Friday.

“Security forces were mobilised from surrounding provinces to help repel the Taliban attack on Ghazni,” Bahrami said. “Senior officials are in Ghazni including the army chief of staff [Sher Mohammad Karimi].” He said the government has sent around 1,000 extra troops to Ghazni to bring the situation under control.

The United States military has conducted at least nine air raids on Saturday and Sunday, Al Jazeera reported quoting the US military headquarters in Kabul.

Bahrami also said that 50 commandos who had been missing earlier in the day had been found, and 35 were on their way to Daikundi province. He claimed that the situation in Ghazni will improve over the next 24 hours.

Interior Minister Wais Barmak denied that Taliban militants had taken control of government facilities in Ghazni, and said everything was under official control.