U.S. and Afghan aircraft on 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. He said more than 10 militants have been killed, and five security forces wounded.
Social media images showed bodies of government troops on the streets in one area, while video images released by the government showed helicopters firing on a hill outside the city. Taliban fighters forced the governor to flee and caused the collapse of multiple security compounds.
Gen Mohammad Radmanish, Defence Ministry spokesman, said Farah city was cleared of insurgents Wednesday and Afghan forces were chasing Taliban fighters outside of the city.
"There is no fear of losing Farah city to the militants", he said, adding that Special Operations Forces and army commandos together with army reinforcement have arrived in Farah city.
The NATO RS mission was established in 2015 with non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan's security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.
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A Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi issued a statement late on Tuesday afternoon on WhatsApp messaging groups claiming that the insurgents had taken "most parts of Farah city". Farah borders Helmand province, where the Taliban control several districts.
Clashes between militants and security forces forced Farah residents to close shops and businesses.
"I can say that it is street-to-street battle", a city official, Mohammed Sarwar Usmani, told Arab News. He said Afghan forces established additional checkpoints to provide security.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said in a statement Tuesday that A-10 close support fighter jets were circling Farah, which it said was under government control.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said in a statement on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) that A-10 close support fighter jets were circling Farah, which it said remains under government control.
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The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was contradicting official government reports.
"First 1,000 Taliban insurgents attacked Farah districts on Tuesday and after the first attack over 1,000 other insurgents also joined the attack".
The insurgents released a statement warning residents to stay inside their homes and "stay calm". However, Radmanish said only two soldiers were killed in the blast.
"Farah is in dire need of air support", Dadullah Qane, a provincial council member, said by telephone as the fighting went on in the morning.
The Taliban are stepping up their spring offensive, in an apparent rejection of a peace talks overture from the government.
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The militants also rampantly shot at the headquarters, according to national police spokesman Senior Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal. He said the men had driven their vehicle into the police yard before getting out to stage the attack.
Farah, which borders Iran, has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years. Officials have warned of a deteriorating security situation as insurgents have entered the capital several times.