Taliban seize district headquarters in west

  • Taliban seize district headquarters in west

Taliban seize district headquarters in west

During the past few months, Taliban militants have battled government security forces fiercely in Afghanistan's western province of Farah bordering Iran.

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

Bakhtawar said the Taliban attacked the district police and administrative offices from different directions to take over the headquarters.

Bakhtawer added that casualty figures were uncertain because intense fighting was continuing at and near the site. Air strikes had killed 56 insurgent fighters, he said.

The Taliban promptly claimed responsibility, with Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi saying in a statement to the media that the group was behind the attack.

The attack came just days after 18 Afghan security force officers, including eight members of the Afghan special forces and 10 policemen, were killed in an overnight Taliban attack during a joint operation in the same province.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said two other people in the vehicle were wounded in the attack, which was in the Bati Kot district.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Taliban and Daesh are active in eastern Afghanistan, particularly in Nangarhar province.

No comment was immediately available from US military headquarters in Kabul.

Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Wazeri told RFE/RL on March 12 that Afghan forces had withdrawn from the center of Farah Province's Anardara district after hours of fighting against Taliban militants.

In January, the governor of Farah resigned, blaming political interference and corruption.

Farah is one of the most heavily fought-over provinces in Afghanistan.

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.