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16 May 2018, 02:02 | Darnell Patrick
Heavy clashes in W. Afghanistan city as major Taliban offensive kicks off (VIDEO)
Fared Bakhtawer, head of the Farah provincial council, said the insurgents overran several security checkpoints in the provincial capital of the same name and that heavy fighting was underway.
"The Taliban are moving very fast, if the government does not take serious and speedy action, the province is going to collapse to Taliban", local resident Hamidullah said.
Farah borders Helmand province where the Taliban control multiple districts. "The worldwide coalition, led by the United States, is focused on providing the military pressure, in conjunction with social pressure and diplomatic pressure that will force them to come to the table", Votel said during a visit to Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe.
Bakhtawer said casualties were high among security forces, but couldn't provide a precise number.
Defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said at least 10 insurgents and two Afghan security force members had been killed so far.
Afghan forces and Nato's Resolute Support mission said that the government remained in control, but the Taliban also appeared confident, posting a flurry of social media updates throughout the day that purported to show their fighters in the city.
Except the third police district, the Taliban did not capture other government offices, but fight over the police and NDS headquarters is still ongoing, he said.
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He said the attack happened late Monday night in Puli Alim the capital of the province.
NATO's Resolute Support mission in Kabul tweeted that the Afghan army, supported by United States airpower including A-10 Thunderbolts, was "on the offensive" and the city "remains under govt. control".
The areas is reportedly under the control of the Taliban who have also been taxing people there.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying fighters took "most parts of Farah city" and dozens of people, including three senior Afghan officials, were killed. Kunduz was subsequently retaken by the government both times. He said fighters launched attacks from multiple directions, after which they overran several checkpoints in the city.
Clashes between militants and security forces forced Farah residents to close shops and businesses.
Abdullah said in parts of the country Afghan soldiers have been surrounded by Taliban for months, but in recent days the National Security Council and the Supreme Commander meetings were not held to address soldiers' problems and to send them support.
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