Afghan troops repel Taliban in savage street fighting

May 15, 2018, 22:18
Afghan troops repel Taliban in savage street fighting

Taliban militants threatened the provincial capital of Farah in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, with fighting underway on the outskirts of the city where government forces were defending two police districts, officials and residents said.

Head of the provincial council Farid Bakhtawar said that "The enemies (Taliban) are moving towards the prison compound,", adding that "we will fight until our last drop of blood for Farah".

Public health officials said that at least 15 people, including a child, had been killed and 42 wounded.

Samihullah Samim, a legislator from Farah, said parts of the city are under Taliban control, with heavy fighting just 300 metres from the governor's residence.

On Monday, officials said in 19 days the Taliban has carried out over 2,700 attacks around the country.

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Farah borders Helmand province where the Taliban control multiple districts.

Deadly clashes re-erupted in Farah early morning as the Taliban launched a second round of coordinated assaults in the week.

He said commando units and other reinforcements had been deployed.

Gen. Radmanish further added that additional forces have been deployed to further push the militants away from the outskirts of the city.

"Security checkpoints around the city have collapsed in the hands of the Taliban, causing high casualties among security forces", he said. The Taliban had captured a police district on the city's edge, he said.

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But inside the city residents reported clashes were continuing. Another provincial council member, Dadullah Qani, confirmed Hissaini's comments, the sound of gunfire and explosions audible as he spoke to an AFP reporter by telephone.

The insurgents in a statement warned residents to remain in their homes and "stay calm".

Many radio and television channels in the province have stopped broadcasting, fearing for their employees' lives, according to media watchdog Nai.

According to Salangi the Taliban failed to capture the NDS directorate, Farah prison, police headquarters or "other key organizations and "soon they will be thwarted from the city".

Footage released on social media shows that a number of security forces' vehicles have been torched and that the Taliban have entered a building used by the security forces.

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Farah, which borders Iran, has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years.