Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Killed As Taliban Militants Storm Farah City

Multiple blasts and gun battle in eastern Afghan city Heavy Fighting Breaks Out In Western Afghan City, Residents Say Situation “Very Bad”
Lillian Steele | 15 May, 2018, 16:26

Taliban militants have launched an offensive on the western Afghan city of Farah on Tuesday, with fierce fighting breaking out between insurgents and government forces.

Fareed Bakthawar, chairman of the provincial council, informed Anadolu Agency the Taliban managed to enter Farah city in the wee-hours of Tuesday, and are engaged in heavy clashes with the security forces.

"Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombarding Taliban positions", she told AFP Tuesday from inside Farah.

Government forces including 100 commandoes have arrived and are clashing with the insurgents, a local provincial council member told AFP, as residents said the situation was "very bad".

In the last week Afghan security forces suffered heavy losses in clashes against insurgents across the country, but on Sunday the Afghan interior ministry said that security forces have retreated from some areas that have high threat levels so as to avoid additional fatalities.

The residents have said that the Taliban took control of a part of the NDS building, a claim which was rejected by Danish. Dozens of Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents have been killed and injured.

In the meantime, the residents of the city said that "if the government does not send more troops to the province, Farah city will fall into the hands of the Taliban".

District centres have been lost or threatened in the northern provinces of Baghlan and Badakhshan and there has been heavy fighting in Faryab in the northwest and Ghazni and Zabul, south of Kabul.

"The situation is under control and will change by the end of the day", he said.

The Taliban was asking the city's residents to stay in their homes and promising they wouldn't be harmed. "Gun battles, air strikes and explosions are taking place around the city", he told Xinhua earlier by phone.

"There were eight terrorists who carried out a coordinated attack in Jalalabad city, killing ten people", Khogyani said.

Farah is a poppy-growing province in a hard to reach part of Afghanistan.

Taliban issued a statement to declare that they have captured checkpoints and an office of intelligence department where senior police officials worked.

Farah, which borders Iran, has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years.

Many radio and television channels in the province have stopped broadcasting, fearing for their employees' lives, according to media watchdog Nai.

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