Fighting continued around Ghazni in central Afghanistan on Saturday, a day after Taliban fighters stormed the city in a stark show of force, with at least 25 police and one journalist killed, officials said.

Many telecoms masts were destroyed during heavy fighting on Friday, making it difficult to establish contact with the city, some two hours drive south of the capital Kabul, and there were conflicting accounts from government and Taliban spokesmen.

The attack on Ghazni, a strategically important center straddling the main highway linking Kabul with the south of the country, was the most serious blow struck by the Taliban since they came close to overrunning the western city of Farah in May.

The insurgents have failed to take any provincial center since they briefly seized the northern city of Kunduz in 2015 although they are active across much of the country and control many rural areas.