Taliban battle into west Afghan city in new crisis for government

Canadian soldiers patrol an area in the Dand district of southern Afghanistan on Sunday

Canadian soldiers patrol an area in the Dand district of southern Afghanistan on Sunday

Taliban fighters overran parts of western Farah city early Tuesday but were reportedly repelled by late evening as Afghan ground troops and reinforcements, backed by US and Afghan airstrikes, fought for hours to prevent the insurgents from capturing a second city since the conflict began in 2002.

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

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility. He said fighters launched attacks from multiple directions, after which they overran several checkpoints in the city. It borders Helmand Province, where the militants control several districts.

Heavy fighting has broken out in the western Afghan city of Farah after the Taliban launched a major offensive overnight to capture the provincial capital.

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 clashes in north and west of Farah city which is 3km far from the center is ongoing between the security forces and Taliban", Danish said, adding that "no government organization has fallen into the hands of the Taliban yet".

Around 100 commandoes joined government reinforcements to prevent the fall of Farah to the militants. "Gun battles, air strikes and explosions are taking place around the city", he told Xinhua earlier by phone.

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

Another provincial council member, Dadullah Qani, confirmed Hissaini's comments.

The Taliban issued a statement warning residents to remain inside their homes and called on people to "stay calm".

"I can say that it is street-to-street battle", a city official, Mohammed Sarwar Usmani, told Arab News.

But the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said on May 11 that the Taliban "cannot win militarily".

Farah is a poppy-growing province in a hard to reach part of Afghanistan which a section of the multi-billion-dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline will traverse.

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. During 2017, they failed three times to seize the city.

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

Recommended News

  • Mariners aim to stymie Blue Jays' sudden surge

    Mariners aim to stymie Blue Jays' sudden surge

    He allowed seven hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings and took the loss in his most recent start Friday against the Angels. And although he only allowed the two runs off three hits he kept the Blue Jays close despite serving up five walks.
    Nasa is sending a helicopter to search the skies over Mars

    Nasa is sending a helicopter to search the skies over Mars

    The potential addition of Mars Helicopter , though, has not necessarily been warmly accepted by the main Mars 2020 mission. The rover is created to carry out geological studies and ascertain the habitability of the Martian environment, NASA said.
    Italy's 5-Star, League head for coalition at 11th hour

    Italy's 5-Star, League head for coalition at 11th hour

    Salvini repeated Wednesday that a "prerequisite" of the talks with the 5-Stars was the center-right coalition remaining united. Both parties say they are opposed to economic sanctions on Russian Federation and have pledged to try to get them overturned.
  • Everton put together disaster talks as they try to cease Rooney leaving

    Everton put together disaster talks as they try to cease Rooney leaving

    Of greater significance, however, is the fact that Rooney seems destined to leave the club for DC United in the summer. Where that lies and where Wayne lies with it I can't tell you at the moment". "We are two adults and we talk".
    Trump To Meet North Korea's Kim In Singapore In June

    Trump To Meet North Korea's Kim In Singapore In June

    The repressive Kim regime tightly controls news sources, after all, so their impressions are highly skewed. Since being elected, Trump has taken a hard line against North Korea and its testing of nuclear weapons .
    Karnataka election 2018: BS Yeddyurappa, BJP, Shikaripura

    Karnataka election 2018: BS Yeddyurappa, BJP, Shikaripura

    Men account for over 2.52 crore voters , women around 2.44 crore, while there are 4,552 transgender electors. He led the BJP to power the first time they won in Karnataka in 2008 and served as chief minister.
  • Mother, lover arrested for child's molestation

    Mother, lover arrested for child's molestation

    The Women's Commission chairperson MC Josephine visited the theatre and appreciated the owner for informing the issue to police. According to the employees of cinema hall, the police did not contact them until the TV channel ran the story.
    Gallery of Cavs probable starters in the Eastern Conference Finals: Kevin Love

    Gallery of Cavs probable starters in the Eastern Conference Finals: Kevin Love

    Marcus Smart made one of two free throws with 2.4 seconds left, and Philadelphia turned it over on the inbounds play to seal it. LeBron and company need to contain Rozier in addition to Jayson Tatum , Al Horford and Jaylen Brown throughout the series.
    Swansea City Set To Part Company With Yet Another Manager

    Swansea City Set To Part Company With Yet Another Manager

    Club skipper Rangel, whose contract is up this summer, has racked up nearly 400 appearances during his time on the Swans' books. The Swansea City Supporters' Trust on Thursday called for chairman Huw Jenkins to stand down.
  • Firebrand nationalist cleric Sadr leads Iraq election

    Firebrand nationalist cleric Sadr leads Iraq election

    Sadr has a zealous following among the young, poor and dispossessed but had been sidelined by influential Iranian-backed figures. Sadr has led two uprisings against USA forces in Iraq and is one of the few Shi'ite leaders to distance himself from Iran.
    Palestinian government calls for declaring East Jerusalem capital of Palestine

    Palestinian government calls for declaring East Jerusalem capital of Palestine

    As is the case throughout the occupied West Bank, the expanding settlements are guarded by a constant Israeli military presence. The Israeli military says its troops are defending the border and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement.
    Hamburg relegated from Bundesliga for first time

    Hamburg relegated from Bundesliga for first time

    Hamburg have been relegated for the first time in the club's history - and opposition fans aren't going to let them forget it. Wolfsburg's 4-1 home victory against Cologne condemned Hamburg to the drop, sparking chaotic scenes at the Volksparkstadion.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.