Tal­iban At­tack West­ern Afghan City

Iran News - - WORLD NEWS -

KABUL (Dis­patches) - Afghan air­craft Tues­day bombed Tal­iban po­si­tions in the west­ern city of Farah af­ter the in­sur­gents launched a ma­jor at­tempt to cap­ture the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal, with fear­ful res­i­dents seek­ing shel­ter from ex­plo­sions and gun­fire.

The at­tack -- the first ma­jor as­sault tar­get­ing a city since the Tal­iban launched their an­nual spring of­fen­sive -- be­gan around mid­night, with the mil­i­tants cap­tur­ing one ur­ban district and parts of an­other, said lo­cal pro­vin­cial coun­cil mem­ber Jamila Amini.

“Heavy fight­ing con­tin­ues in­side the city and air­craft have just started bom­bard­ing Tal­iban po­si­tions,” she told AFP Tues­day from in­side Farah.

Afghan of­fi­cials said po­lice spe­cial forces from Kan­da­har and com­man­dos from Herat had also been de­ployed.

“(The Tal­iban) will fail,” vowed in­te­rior min­istry spokesman Na­jib Dan­ish, who said both Afghan and for­eign air forces were tak­ing part in the fight­ing.

There was no im­me­di­ate con­fir­ma­tion from NATO’s mis­sion in Kabul.

De­fence min­istry spokesman Mo­ham­mad Radm­nish said at least 10 in­sur­gents and two Afghan se­cu­rity force mem­bers had been killed so far.

“The sit­u­a­tion is un­der con­trol and will change by the end of the day,” he said.

But in­side the city res­i­dents re­ported clashes were con­tin­u­ing. “The sit­u­a­tion is very bad,” Satar His­saini, a tribal el­der in Farah, told AFP.

“Heavy fight­ing is go­ing on and Tal­iban are in the city but the po­lice head­quar­ters and NDS (the Afghan in­tel­li­gence agency) have not fallen to them,” he said.

“NDS forces in their HQ are en­gaged in heavy clashes with the Tal­iban.”

An­other pro­vin­cial coun­cil mem­ber, Dadul­lah Qani, con­firmed His­saini’s com­ments, the sound of gun­fire and ex­plo­sions au­di­ble as he spoke to an AFP re­porter by tele­phone.

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.

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