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tinyfav.com May 23, 2018


Taliban Clashing With Afghan Forces in Western Farah Province

15 May 2018, 04:24 | Myrtle Vega

US and Afghanistan launch air strikes as Taliban attack western city

Residents look at an Army vehicle which was damaged during battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban in Farah

Militants attacked a provincial government building in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least ten people, officials said.

Fared Bakhtawer, head of the provincial council, offered a different picture, however, saying that several security checkpoints in Farah were overrun by the Taliban.

"Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombarding Taliban positions", she said.

The residents feared that the Taliban radical movement would gain control of the city if the government did not send more troops soon, the media outlet said.

In January, NATO's Resolute Support Mission, tasked with building up the Afghan government's security forces, assessed that almost 15 percent of the country's 407 districts - more than 20 percent of the landmass - was under insurgent control or influence, according to a watchdog report released this month.

"We had casualties in Farah, Baghlan and Ghor", defense ministry's deputy spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.

This comes as the Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the group announced its spring offensive but the Afghan forces have also stepped up efforts to counter the militants attacks.

Meanwhile, Abdul Basir Salangi, provincial governor, confirmed heavy fighting in the city.

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The source further added that one Taliban militant was killed and two others were wounded during a separate clash erupted in Barqot village in Suzma Qala district of northern Sar Pul province.

Residents in Farah have long warned that the city was vulnerable.

A resurgent Taliban, largely dependent on narcotics revenues, has expanded its territorial control over parts of Afghanistan since the withdrawal of most worldwide combat forces at the end of 2014.

Noorul Haq, spokesman for the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Farah, said up to 1,000 security personnel are engaged in gunfight with the militants.

"NDS forces in their headquarters are engaged in heavy clashes with the Taliban".

Farah is a poppy-growing province in an isolated region of Afghanistan.

The insurgents have tried several times to take provincial capitals in recent years, including in Kunduz and Lashkar Gah.

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



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