Afghan forces battle Taliban fighters in Farah province

Howard TerryMar 14, 2018

But Nusrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, later said that security forces retook control of the district headquarters after the militants were targeted by air strikes.

During the past few months, Taliban militants have battled government security forces fiercely in Afghanistan's western province of Farah bordering Iran.

Fared Bakhtawer, the head of the Farah provincial council, on March 12 said initial reports indicate that some 15 security personnel were killed and wounded in the fighting at the Anardara district headquarters.

"We sent more troops to the district and also called in air power to take part in ongoing fighting to halt the Taleban's progress", Mr Mehri said.

The Taliban promptly claimed responsibility, with Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi saying in a statement to the media that the group was behind the attack. He also said the government would declare them a political group.

No civilian casualties have been reported so far in the attack, which comes a day after the Taliban killed seven members of the army and eight policemen in Bala Buluk district in the province.

"There is no word on whether these people have been killed, wounded or escaped the area", he said.

The pressure on Farah has grown as USA air strikes and Afghan army operations have inflicted heavy casualties on Taliban fighters in neighbouring Helmand province, the country's main opium-growing region and a heartland of the insurgency.

The victims are all members of a single family, Khogyani added.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Taliban and Daesh are active in eastern Afghanistan, particularly in Nangarhar province.

"If they are not fought back, the district will be taken over entirely". Residents of Farah city have complained bitterly about security in the province, where some police units are alleged to collude with Taliban fighters, selling them weapons and ammunition.

Officials say the fighters have stepped up attacks against Afghan security forces in the province, which has often come under deadly attacks.

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