Afghan troops repel Taliban in savage street fighting

Pauline Gross
May 16, 2018

The Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the Afghan capital of Farah province on Tuesday, forcing the United States to send in A-10 Warthogs in a show of force, according to numerous media reports and a spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Kabul, said security forces from neighboring provinces had been ordered to Farah to protect civilians and government buildings and said the Taliban had been pushed out of the city.

Oryakhel said Afghan forces equipped with advanced weaponry were fighting against the militants and were not in need of reinforcement.

"The Taliban are moving very fast, if the government does not take serious and speedy action, the province is going to collapse to Taliban", local resident Hamidullah said.

Farah borders Helmand province, where the Taliban control several districts. Special forces of Afghanistan with air support conducted active operations, but failed to prevent repeated attacks of militants. He said casualties were high but couldn't provide a precise number.

Public health officials said that at least 15 people, including a child, had been killed and 42 wounded.

Unconfirmed reports said the Taliban had seized Farah's central prison and freed several hundred inmates, including dozens of militants. "Gun battles, air strikes and explosions are taking place around the city", he told Xinhua earlier by phone.

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He said the attack happened late Monday night in Puli Alim the capital of the province.

Militants briefly took the capital of northern Kunduz province in late 2015 and threatened to take it again in 2016, but they have since failed to take a single capital - a fact frequently touted by USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials, who say government forces are becoming more capable in battling the insurgents.

Taliban also claimed capturing many areas of Farah including the third police district and the NDS headquarter.

"The Taliban have nowhere to hide", Gen. John Nicholson, commander of Resolute Support in Afghanistan, said in February.

The areas under the Taliban control would be recaptured as soon as possible, he said. Kunduz was subsequently retaken by the government both times.

Clashes between militants and security forces forced Farah residents to close shops and businesses. They have intensified armed attacks against security forces across the country since April 25 when the Taliban's so-called yearly rebel offensive started.

Other reports by GizPress

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