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Government troops push back Taliban from west city

16 May, 2018, 11:44 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Heavy clashes in W. Afghanistan city as major Taliban offensive kicks off

In a further attack, 11 children were killed and 16 people wounded, including Romanian and Afghan security force members, when a suicide attacker exploded his vehicle near a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy in the southern province of Kandahar, officials said.

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.

Residents of the city, capital of Farah province on the border with Iran, have warned for months the city was vulnerable and the attack threatened a repeat of the Taliban's capture of the northern city of Kunduz in 2015. The noise has "filled the city", said one resident who gave his name as Bilal, adding that he could see smoke rising from the direction of a building housing the NDS.

Government forces including 100 commandos have arrived and are clashing with the insurgents, a local provincial council member told AFP, as residents said the situation was "very bad".

Inside the city residents reported clashes were continuing.

But the defence ministry said the army had repulsed the attack and that "security forces are now chasing the enemy".

The Afghan Military in the North says the Farah city has been fully cleared of the Taliban militants but clearance operations are still being conducted to ensure the remaining insurgents are eliminated.

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Afghan forces have struggled to combat the Taliban in recent years, as the insurgents have seized several districts across the country. The Islamist militant group is present in most areas of Afghanistan, but the attack was a high-stakes attempt to do something it has vowed. The governor of the province stepped down in January, blaming the worsening security situation and what he said was political interference and corruption.

"In the last week we retook a few districts from the Taliban and this would not happen without suffering losses".

The Defense Ministry denied reports of attacks on the NDS compound.

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. He said while this was happening, government, especially security departments, was busy with other affairs and has not been paying attention to security issues. The Taliban launched attacks from multiple directions early Tuesday aiming to gain control of the city but later faced resistance from reinforced security forces.

"(The president) as the Supreme Commander has allocated a big amount of his time to security issues.

Farah is a poppy-growing province in a hard to reach part of Afghanistan.

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