Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Taliban Abandon Takeover of Farah, Afghan City, After Killing 30

Taliban Abandon Takeover of Farah, Afghan City, After Killing 30

Taliban fighters with heavy weapons and night-vision equipment fought their way close to the centre of the western city of Farah on Tuesday, as Afghan forces with USA air support battled to force them back, officials and residents said.

But Salangi says that the security forces will continue their operations to destroy the insurgents in the province. The Taliban launched attacks from multiple directions early Tuesday aiming to gain control of the city but later faced resistance from reinforced security forces.

According to reports, at least 2000 Taliban militants attacked Farah province on Tuesday morning, in order to claim it.

Farah province has seen heavy fighting in recent months, with local officials and tribal elders requesting addition forces from the already overstretched army and police.

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.

It was the first Taliban assault on a provincial capital this year after it announced the start of its annual spring offensive last month and formally rejected Afghan government peace initiatives.

Inside the city residents reported clashes were continuing.

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"Heavy fighting is going on and Taliban are in the city but the police headquarters and NDS (the Afghan intelligence agency) have not fallen to them", he said.

Fighters are targeting journalists in Afghanistan because they are weakened and want more news coverage in order to undermine the country's electoral process ahead of an expected vote in October, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has said.

"They kill one, and they claim three", said General Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence. Gunfire and explosions could be heard as he spoke to an AFP reporter by telephone.

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

According to a statement by MoD, the Taliban insurgents launched a coordinated attack at 2:00 am on Tuesday, initially launching their attack from Shebkoh district and managed to seize some parts of Farah city after intruding into the city from its northern parts.

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul said in a statement the city remained under government control and US A-10 attack aircraft were supporting Afghan forces in defending it. Despite the pressure of greatly stepped-up US and Afghan airstrikes, the Taliban have shown little interest in the Afghan government's offer of a comprehensive peace agreement.

The insurgents have tried several times to take provincial capitals in recent years, including Kunduz and Lashkar Gah, with the Afghan army deploying significant numbers of troops to hold those cities and push the militants out.

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