Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

The Taliban attacked the town of Farah

The Taliban attacked the town of Farah

KABUL-Fighting raged Tuesday between Taliban militants and Afghan government forces for control of a provincial capital near the Iranian border, local officials said, in a confrontation shaping up as a stern test of USA efforts to build an effective, local force.

Taliban militants stormed the city of Farah, the capital of Farah Province on the border with Iran on Tuesday morning, Afghan media initially reported. The Taliban urged the Afghan nation to boycott the elections and said that the country was "occupied" by foreign forces.

Unconfirmed reports said the Taliban had seized Farah's central prison and freed several hundred inmates, including dozens of militants.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman said the Taliban has already claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Farah borders Helmand province where the Taliban control multiple districts.

In recent months, Farah province has been the site of many battles between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents.

The assault comes as the Taliban are stepping up their spring offensive, in an apparent rejection of a peace talks overture by the Afghan government.

"We assure the people of Farah that all the operations implemented, air force, commandos and all other units stationed in the western part of the country are taking action", the Defense Ministry said. He said 10 Taliban militants were killed.

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Clashes between militants and security forces forced Farah residents to close shops and businesses.

The Taliban continues its insurgency in Afghanistan with an assault on Farah City.

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.

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.

Earlier a security forces source said that the Taliban had taken control of a number of check posts in the city and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and police headquarters.

Many radio and television channels in the province have stopped broadcasting, fearing for their employees' lives, according to media watchdog Nai.

Despite security concerns, the Taliban have pledged to cooperate with the gas project. Officials have warned of a deteriorating security situation as insurgents have entered the capital several times.

But it has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years.

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