Heavy fighting begins in Afghanistan as Taliban attack western city of Farah
22:20, May 15, 2018
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Intense clashes between Taliban militants and Afghan government forces have been ongoing since Tuesday morning in the provincial capital of Farah in western Afghanistan, TOLO news reported.
Chairman of the provincial Council Fared, Bakhtawar said that terrorists attacked several checkpoints, a result of the attack killed at least 30 security personnel, however, the number of victims will probably increase. The Taliban urged the Afghan nation to boycott the elections and said that the country was "occupied" by foreign forces.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. He said fighters launched attacks from multiple directions, after which they overran several checkpoints in the city. Taliban militants launched a major offensive at around 2.40 a.m. from northern and western neighbourhood of Farah, in a coordinated effort to seize full control of the city, an official told Xinhua news agency.
"The Afghan National Defense and Security forces supported by USA forces in Afghanistan air power are on the offensive against the Taliban", he added.
Violence has escalated across Afghanistan since the announcement of the Taliban's annual spring offensive last month and there have been heightened security fears around preparations for elections in October.
"The Taliban are moving very fast, if the government does not take serious and speedy action, the province is going to collapse to Taliban", said Hamidullah, a resident of the city reached by telephone.
Around 100 commandoes joined government reinforcements to prevent the fall of Farah to the militants.
Clashes between militants and security forces forced Farah residents to close shops and businesses.
Another provincial council member, Dadullah Qani, confirmed Hissaini's comments.
The insurgents released a statement warning residents to stay inside their homes and "stay calm".
"Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombarding Taliban positions", she said.
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". There are plans for a section of the multi-billion-dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline to traverse it, a project the Taliban have pledged to cooperate with. Officials have warned of a deteriorating security situation as insurgents have entered the capital several times.
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