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Afghan forces fight for the control of volatile Farah city

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AT-KABUL- Government forces on Tuesday were fighting the militants for the control of Farah city after militants broke through the northern defensive belt of the city early morning of the same day in a heavy fighting which inflicted casualties on both sides and even dragged US forces to carry out air strikes against militants.

Hundreds of Taliban fighters attacked several parts of Farah city from the north and west on Tuesday morning at around 2:00am and captured some of the areas to reach 3km of the governor house before to be stopped by the security forces, according to several sources in the province.

Afghan Defense Ministry during the day deployed several units of commandos and Special Forces to support the police forces on the battleground. At least six security forces were killed in the clashes in which more than 10 Taliban were also killed.

“Our air force is supporting the ground troops and hitting militant positions” Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for the Defense Ministry said.

People in the city particularly on the social media accompanied the concerns of the provincial council members that the city is at the danger of being collapsed to the militants.

“We hope the things don’t happen to our city which happed to Kunduz city two years back” Rauf Sayad, a resident of the city told Afghanistan Times by phone. “The achievements of the 16 years could be reversed in a day, if he city fall to the terrorists” he said.

But Defense Ministry in a statement assured the citizens the city was under control of the security forces who will defend it till their last drop of blood.

Although provincial council members said some government offices were fallen to the Taliban but the Interior Ministry brushed the claim aside as baseless saying “no government office was overran by the enemy.”

The intensity of the fighting not only mobilized Afghan air force but also dragged the US air force to hit Taliban positions on the outskirts of the city.

The US and NATO forces public affairs in Kabul in a statement said their air force was helping the Afghan ground forces who were still controlling the city.

Farah which share a long border with Iran has been under pressure of the militants for the past nearly two years after the Taliban allegedly improved their relations with the neighboring Iran.

Iran has been on several occasions accused by US officials of helping Taliban with weapons and other types of assistances in recent years, but Tehran has always been on denial.

Farah has been one of the few provinces on border with Iran where Taliban have been equipped with modern weapons and even night visions and snipers comparing to other Afghan provinces where Taliban are active.

Local officials in Farah also on several occasions accused Iran of sheltering some Taliban commanders and their families in the recent two years, after some Taliban left Pakistan.