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Farah under attack again

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AT News Report-KABUL: After Afghan security forces pulled the Taliban assailants out of western Farah city, insurgents once again attacked security forces on Wednesday night. Local officials have confirmed that firefight has resumed between government forces and Taliban insurgents after three suicide bombers blew selves up near police headquarters and government establishments. And more insurgents are hiding in civilian dwellings.

Farah city in the west came under vile attacks of Taliban insurgents early Tuesday and engaged in a day-long clash with government forces. Farah governor Basir Salangi on Wednesday morning had said that about 2,000 Taliban insurgents attacked the city. “First 1,000 Taliban insurgents attacked Farah districts on Tuesday and after the first attack over 1,000 other insurgents also joined the attack,” he said. About 300 insurgents had been killed in the clashes. Afghan security force also lost twenty five of its members after it pushed assailants out of the city.

Residents have meanwhile said the Taliban had been hiding in Shir Koh, Pesht Koh districts and Regi area of the city. They have said that insurgents were fighting with security forces on Wednesday night close to the police headquarters. They might have targeted the house of a provincial council member. However, Afghan air force backed by foreign air power has targeted the insurgents, residents said.

There might be clashes in other parts of the city, according to residents. The Taliban have converged from Helmand, Herat, Ghor and Zabul provinces to stage the large-scale attack on Farah city, but government security forces resisted the insurgents and defended the city including the National Directorate of Security department, police headquarters, and the city hospital and pushed them back after reinforcements arrived.

On Wednesday night, NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said security forces played a key role in pushing back the Taliban from Farah city.

The security forces were supported by the US Air Force, including US Air Force A-10 aircrafts, said NATO’s RS spokesman Martin O’Donnell. According to RS, the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and the commando division also played an effective role in forcing the Taliban to retreat.

“Farah remains under the Afghan government’s control, the Afghans remain in the lead of operations there, you have got the 207th corps commander who is leading the operation and orchestrating it and its combined arms fight that the Afghans are leading. You have got the Afghan army, the police, commandos and the Afghan air force, in-fact the Afghan air force has conducted the most strikes on targets,” O’Donnell said.

On the involvement of US troops in the operation he said: “We are providing advice to not only that combined arms fight, but then also with the commandos and then we are also providing some air power.”

The Ministry of Defense has admitted that the cities of Farah, Faizabad, Trinkot, Kunduz, Maimana and Pul-e-Khumri are under pressure by the Taliban but said government forces are ready to defend these cities.

Twenty-two security force members were meanwhile killed in heavy clashes with the Taliban in two districts of central Ghazni province on Wednesday, members of the provincial council confirmed on Wednesday.

In addition, five other security force members were wounded. “Yes. As you said a few cities are under pressure. But remember that cities are safe. We have carried out 14 military operations today which are in districts not in cities,” Defense Ministry deputy spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said at a press conference on Wednesday.