Taliban battle into west Afghan city renews crisis
Taliban battle into west Afghan city renews crisis
Dozens Killed, Wounded as Taliban Closes in on City in Western Afghan
16 May, 2018, 15:05
The Taliban carried out attacks from multiple directions on a city in western Afghanistan early Tuesday, officials said.
Dozens of Taliban fighters have been killed, and Afghan forces have suffered an unknown number of casualties, O'Donnell said, adding that he was unsure of any civilian casualties.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the Afghan air force was also taking part in the battle.
MoD also added that the Afghan forces successfully repulsed the Taliban attack and inflicted casualties on them despite they attempted to use the civilian homes as shelter against the security forces.
A government spokesmen on Tuesday confirmed the Taliban had overrun several security checkposts, but denied reports of key areas of the city falling into the militants' hands.
Governor Basir Salangi fled the city after the insurgent attack began around 2am, but he remained in Farah province at a military base a few miles outside Farah city, according to numerous local officials.
Afghan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warplanes also took part in the battle.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attacks in Ghazni.
The Taliban continues its insurgency in Afghanistan with an assault on Farah City.
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Help. Farah is a remote and sparsely populated province between Iran to the West and Helmand province, considered the "heart" of the Taliban.
"An intense battle is going on in the city", he said without providing additional details.
NATO's Resolute Support mission in Kabul tweeted that the Afghan army, supported by United States airpower including A-10 Thunderbolts, was "on the offensive" and the city "remains under govt. control".
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"NDS forces in their headquarters are engaged in heavy clashes with the Taliban". They have been posting images on social media which they claim shows them inside the city. Despite the pressure of greatly stepped-up USA and Afghan airstrikes, the Taliban have shown little interest in the Afghan government's offer of a comprehensive peace agreement.
"Farah is in dire need of air support", Dadullah Qane, a provincial council member, said by telephone as the fighting went on in the morning.
There are plans for a section of the multi-billion-dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline to traverse it, a project with which the Taliban have pledged to cooperate.
Although the insurgents have been unable to take and hold any provincial center, they are active across Afghanistan and the government has firm control over no more than 56 percent of the country, according to U.S. estimates.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that at least three men had attacked the Riau Police headquarters. All six bombers died, including the mother who was Indonesia's first known female suicide bomber.
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