Taliban fighters attack western Afghan city

Taliban fighters attack western Afghan city

Kerry Wise
May 15, 2018

On Monday, CEO of the National Unity Government (NUG) Abdullah Abdullah said soldiers have been under siege for months, but relevant security officials are busy with other issues.

"The Taliban are moving very fast, if the government does not take serious and speedy action, the province is going to collapse to Taliban", local resident Hamidullah said.

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, has said that their fighters started the attacks on the capital city about 2 a.m. and had captured an intelligence office, a police station and other checkpoints. He said casualties were high but couldn't provide a precise number.

The Taliban have frequently claimed they try to avoid civilian casualties, but human rights organizations have counted thousands of civilian deaths caused by insurgent violence in recent years - many the result of Taliban attacks in populated urban areas. It borders Helmand Province, where the militants control several districts.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that Afghan security forces were able to repel their attacks.

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". The Taliban urged the Afghan nation to boycott the elections and said that the country was "occupied" by foreign forces.

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He said operations continue to suppress the militants as he assured that the situation would change by the end of the day.

Residents in Farah have long warned that the city was vulnerable.

"The Afghan National Defense and Security forces supported by US forces in Afghanistan air power are on the offensive against the Taliban", he added. 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 latest reports say the terrorist group is still two-miles away from the city center. and the battle is still underway.

The Taliban urged residents to stay indoors and vowed not to harm anyone. Local residents fear the whole province may fall to the insurgents.

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