Taliban militants besiege Farah provincial capital in Afghsanistan

Taliban militants besiege Farah provincial capital in Afghsanistan

Taliban militants have launched an offensive on the western Afghan city of Farah on Tuesday, with fierce fighting breaking out between insurgents and government forces.

Fared Bakhtawer, head of the provincial council, said several security checkpoints in the city of Farah were overrun by Taliban fighters and that an intense gun battle was ongoing. The Taliban urged the Afghan nation to boycott the elections and said that the country was "occupied" by foreign forces.

Action grouping "Taliban" in the city of Farah in Western Afghanistan was attacked.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Afghan authorities have long struggled to gain control of the isolated region, as Taliban fighters have repeatedly launched offensives on the Farah province.

Clashes in Farah come amid the Taliban's annual spring offensive, as they vow to target the "American invaders".

Government forces including 100 commandoes have arrived and are clashing with the insurgents, a local provincial council member told AFP, as residents said the situation was "very bad". The Taliban had captured a police district on the city's edge, he said.

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.

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Inside the city residents reported clashes were continuing.

"There were eight terrorists who carried out a coordinated attack in Jalalabad city, killing ten people", Khogyani said.

A resurgent Taliban, largely dependent on narcotics revenues, has expanded its territorial control over parts of Afghanistan since the withdrawal of most global combat forces at the end of 2014.

The insurgents released a statement warning residents to stay inside their homes and "stay calm". Local residents fear the whole province may fall to the insurgents.

According to Salangi the Taliban failed to capture the NDS directorate, Farah prison, police headquarters or "other key organizations and "soon they will be thwarted from the city".

Despite security concerns, the Taliban have pledged to cooperate with the gas project.

The attack on Farah is the first siege of a provincial capital this year.

In 2017, insurgents tried to overrun the capital three times, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

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