Taliban storm Afghanistan’s Farah city near Iranian border

Afghan forces claim killing 361 insurgents nationwide in bid to push back Taliban as 9th provincial capital falls

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – The Taliban on Tuesday entered Farah city in western Afghanistan, making it the ninth provincial center to be partly or fully captured by the insurgents.

Acknowledging coordinated Taliban assaults on the city which serves as the capital of Farah province, local police spokesman Farooq Khalid told Anadolu Agency that intense clashes between government forces and the Taliban fighters were underway. He claimed that over 80 advancing Taliban insurgents were killed by security forces.

The Taliban, however, claimed to have reached the city center.

“Two checkpoints were captured near the intelligence and police command center a moment ago, and the ‘Mujahideen’ launched their attacks on the intelligence and police command center. The battle continues and the ‘Mujahideen’ advance,” tweeted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed.

In a major push to repel advancing Taliban from urban centers, the Afghan forces claimed killing 361 insurgents in air and ground offensives in the past 24 hours.

The Defense Ministry said the operations were conducted in the Nangarhar, Kunar, Logar, Paktia, Paktika, Maidan Wardak, Kandahar, Sar-e Pol, Helmand, Kunduz, and Baghlan provinces.

Farah became the ninth provincial capital after Qala-e-Nau, Lashkargah, Zaranj, Sheberghan, Kunduz, Taluqan, Aybak and Sar-e-Pul to have been at least partly overrun by the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the UN on Monday said the violence was taking a devastating toll on children in Afghanistan with 27 killed and 136 more wounded in the past couple of days alone.

The new wave of deadly clashes started last month when, after overrunning nearly 200 rural districts, the Taliban began assaults on major cities as they marched on Herat, Kandahar, Taluqan, and Lashkargah, causing panic and worry among millions of civilians.

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