Taliban Clashing With Afghan Forces in Western Farah Province


Afghan warplanes bombed Taliban positions after insurgents attacked Farah city, the capital of Farah Province in western Afghanistan, close to the Iranian border, Afghan officials say.

Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesman for the defence ministry in Kabul said they have ordered security forces from neighbouring provinces to travel to Farah to protect civilians and government buildings.

The attack, which comes as the Taliban step up their annual spring offensive, began around midnight, with the insurgents capturing one district and parts of another, local provincial council member Jamila Amini told AFP Tuesday from inside the city. They said although the reinforcements have helped the security forces, the street to street fight with the Taliban continued.

A doctor from the provincial hospital in Farah, who did not want to be identified, said so far two dead and 16 wounded members of the Afghan security forces, as well as five wounded civilians including women and children, had been taken to the hospital.

In the last week, clashes between security forces and militants in Farah, Baghlan, Faryab, Ghor and Badakhshan province ended in high casualty rates.

"There is no fear of collapsing of the city to the hands of the insurgents", Danish said. "Fighting and sporadic clashes are still ongoing Tuesday morning", the source told Xinhua.

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Taliban leaders had claimed their fighters captured a number of government offices including a local office of the Afghan Intelligence Agency (NDS) during the fighting, a claim Najib Danish, an interior ministry spokesman, denied.

As to a report released May 1 by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), about 39% of the country's territory with 65% of the country's population is controlled by the government, while the number of the police and military forces is declining.

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

Another resident told TOLOnews that people were running from the city and the situation is "very bad".

Farah province, 695 km west of Kabul and bordering Iran, has been the scene of heavy clashes between Taliban and security forces over the past few months.

Despite security concerns, the Taliban have pledged to cooperate with the gas project. In 2017 insurgents tried three times to overrun the capital, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.