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Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 16:14
Official: Government troops push back Taliban from west city
By Associated Press
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 16:14 By Associated Press

In this June 18, 2017 file photo, security forces are deployed to the site of a suicide attack between Taliban insurgents and government forces near the main police station in eastern Paktia province, Afghanistan. (IHSANULLAH MAHJOOR / AP)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Security forces pushed back an attack by Taliban insurgents Wednesday and took control of Farah city in western Afghanistan, officials said.

Farah provincial Gov. Abdul Basir Salangi said more than 300 Taliban fighters were killed in the gun battles in the provincial capital also called Farah

Farah provincial Gov. Abdul Basir Salangi said more than 300 Taliban fighters were killed in the gun battles in the provincial capital also called Farah. The Taliban launched attacks from multiple directions early Tuesday aiming to gain control of the city but later faced resistance from reinforced security forces.

Salangi said at least 25 government troops were killed.

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Dr. Amin Rahman Mujadedi, an official from the provincial health department, said 28 bodies were transferred to a hospital since the start of the battle and 66 wounded received treatment. He said the majority of those were security forces.

Gen. Mohammad Radmanish, Defense Ministry spokesman, said Farah city was cleared of insurgents Wednesday and Afghan forces were chasing Taliban fighters outside of the city. He said Afghan forces established additional checkpoints to provide security.

Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, a lawmaker from Farah, said residents were trying to get their lives back to normal. "Shops are open today and people are out on the streets in the city," he said.

Afghan forces have struggled to combat the Taliban in recent years, as the insurgents have seized several districts across the country. The US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, but still provide support.

NATO said in a statement Tuesday that A-10 close support fighter jets were circling Farah, which it said was under government control.

Farah province has seen heavy fighting in recent months, with local officials and tribal elders requesting additional forces to support the overburdened army and police.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault on Farah in a statement to media, saying they attacked from multiple directions.

READ MORE: Afghan president calls on Taliban to join in peace talks

Separately, in eastern Ghazni province, at least three policemen were killed and two others wounded after insurgents launched attacks in different areas, said Sor Gul, an Afghan army commander in Ghazni. He said more than 40 insurgents were killed in the battles in four different districts and close to 30 others were wounded.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Taliban are active in Ghazni and repeatedly have claimed responsibility for attacks against security forces and government officials.

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