Afghan forces battle Taliban fighters in Farah province

Clay Curtis
March 14, 2018

The development came as insurgent attacks against security forces have stepped up across Afghanistan, including in Farah province.

Lashkar Gah: Afghan forces backed by air strikes battled on Monday to recapture a district centre in the western province of Farah, after Taliban fighters seized the town in an overnight attack that killed several policeman, regional officials said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani two weeks ago extended a new peace offer to the militant group.

"The [Taliban] fighters attacked the district offices early in the morning from different directions and have taken over the offices", Dadullah Qane, a member of the provincial council, told Al Jazeera.

Fared Bakhtawer, the head of the Farah's provincial council, said initial reports indicated that about 15 members of the government security forces were killed and wounded in the assault, which was launched late on March 11.

Bakhtawer added that casualty figures were uncertain because intense fighting was continuing at and near the site.

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"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 claimed responsibility for the attack, saying 15 police officers were killed and several military vehicles seized along with a large quantity of ammunition.

Abdullah also said government will try to fulfil all its obligations in the new solar year.

In a separate report, seven civilians - including three children and two women - were killed on Sunday night in eastern Nangarhar province when their vehicle was hit by a grenade, said Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

A senior official in the province said that reinforcements have reached the area in a bid to push back the fighters.

Afghan and Western officials warn that the country's security could further deteriorate in the coming year, even as the United States military finds itself drawn deeper into the war, with additional military advisers arriving to help Afghan forces.

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