Taliban fighters attack western Afghan city

Taliban fighters attack western Afghan city

Taliban fighters attack western Afghan city

Afghan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warplanes have bombed Taliban positions after insurgents attacked Farah city, the capital of Farah Province in western Afghanistan, close to the Iranian border, Afghan officials say.

Taliban militants stormed the city of Farah, the capital of Farah Province on the border with Iran on Tuesday morning, Afghan media initially reported.

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

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, in a busy area of the city with many other official buildings nearby, including a school in which about 1,000 girls were trapped as the fighting raged. The fighters launched the attacks from four directions on the city, which has over 50,000 residents. It borders Helmand Province, where the militants control several districts.

The targeting of Farah, coinciding with gains by the Taliban since the launch of a spring offensive less than three weeks ago, forced Afganistan's President, Ashraf Ghani, to call an urgent security meeting with senior defense officials on Tuesday.

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. "Gun battles, air strikes and explosions are taking place around the city", he told Xinhua earlier by phone.


At least some militants have been hiding in residential houses, making it hard for Afghan forces to use heavy weapons, Farah governor Abdul Basir Salangi told Ariana News, adding: "But still we are taking back positions one by one".

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

Most have been in capital city Kabul, but in January gunmen attacked an office of aid group Save the Children in Jalalabad, killing at least five people and wounding 25.

The latest reports say the terrorist group is still two-miles away from the city center. and the battle is still underway.

Many radio and television channels in the province have stopped broadcasting, fearing for their employees' lives, according to media watchdog Nai. There are plans for a section of the multi-billion-dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline to traverse it.

Farah has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years.

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