Taliban storm western Afghan city of Farah

16 May, 2018, 15:08 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Heavy clashes in W. Afghanistan city as major Taliban offensive kicks off

The Taleban claimed to have captured the capital of the western province of Farah on Tuesday (May 15), while government officials and their United States military backers vowed that the authorities would quickly oust insurgents from the city, the first to be overrun by the militants in two years.

But Salangi says that the security forces will continue their operations to destroy the insurgents in the province.

Abdullah said in parts of the country Afghan soldiers have been surrounded by Taliban for months, but in recent days the National Security Council and the Supreme Commander meetings were not held to address soldiers' problems and to send them support.

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.

"Taliban has entered our city with a full might. they are equipped with heavy arms and night vision", said Dadullah Qane, a provincial council member of Farah.

"There is fighting still going on in the city of Farah", Lt. Col. Martin L. O'Donnell, a spokesman for Resolute Support, told Business Insider over the phone, which "despite rumors to the contrary, remains on the outskirts of the city, three kilometers to the north and west".

Farah province, which borders Iran, has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years, and there have always been fears that the city is vulnerable.

But inside the city residents reported clashes were continuing.

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"The Afghan security forces are bringing their full capabilities, consisting of Army, Police, Commandos and Air Force, to bear on the situation", it said, adding that USA forces "stand firm beside our Afghan partners and will continue to reinforce this Afghan-led offensive".

The Taliban stormed the city in the early hours of Tuesday morning and were pushed back early Wednesday, said Salangi.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said in a statement on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) that A-10 close support fighter jets were circling Farah, which it said remains under government control. At least eight insurgents had been killed and three wounded, it said.

Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish confirmed a district police chief in Farah died, but said other statements about violence were exaggerated. Gunfire and explosions could be heard as he spoke to an AFP reporter by telephone.

The insurgents released a statement warning residents to stay inside their homes and "stay calm".

Farah is a vast and sparsely populated province with tens of thousands of dollars generated under custom duty.

The Taliban are stepping up their spring offensive, in an apparent rejection of a peace talks overture from the government.

Kunduz, Afghanistan's fifth largest city and capital of the northern province of the same name, fell briefly to the Taliban in 2015.

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