Farah City on 'Verge of Collapse', Claim Residents

Farah City on 'Verge of Collapse', Claim Residents

Farah City on 'Verge of Collapse', Claim Residents

Noorulhaq Khaliqi, a military spokesman in Farah, said Afghan security forces had repelled the attack but some residents said the Taliban had already set up checkpoints around the city and were checking identity cards and preventing people from fleeing.

Taliban militants launched a major offensive at around 2.40 a.m. from northern and western neighbourhood of Farah, in a coordinated effort to seize full control of the city, an official told Xinhua news agency.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for Taliban said large scale attacks will continue in Farah and he warned civilians to remain inside their houses. They captured several security checkpoints inside and around the city.

Farah shares borders with restive Helmand province, and according to local media, the militants arrived from Helmand where an intensive security operation is ongoing.

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

Scores of civilians were fleeing the city to seek safer places in the province, 695 km west of Afghan capital of Kabul, bordering Iran.

Abdullah, who had been speaking at the Council of Ministers Meeting, said in recent days hundreds of soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war against militants.

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In the last week, clashes between security forces and militants in Farah, Baghlan, Faryab, Ghor and Badakhshan province ended in high casualty rates.

In the meantime, Radmanish said that "two security forces were killed in the clashes and four others were wounded", adding that "the situation would change by the afternoon and security forces have been deployed to the city".

But inside the city residents reported clashes were continuing. "An intense battle is going on in the city", he said without providing additional details.

"NDS forces in their headquarters are engaged in heavy clashes with the Taliban".

Afghan security forces have struggled to combat the Taliban and IS since the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat role in the country in 2014, shifting to a support and counterterrorism mission.

The insurgents have tried several times to take provincial capitals in recent years, including in Kunduz and Lashkar Gah.

It's also an important economic area with the multi-billion-dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline planned for the region.

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