Taliban seize district headquarters in west

Taliban seize district headquarters in west

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, says that along with the eight killed in the assault, 10 security forces were wounded in the morning attack.

A senior official in the province said that reinforcements have reached the area in a bid to push back the fighters.

USA and Afghan officials say the Taliban have been under increasingly heavy pressure from air strikes and army operations but the insurgents have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to inflict severe damage on Afghan security forces.

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

"We sent more troops to the district and also called in air power to take part in ongoing fighting to halt the Taleban's progress", Mr Mehri said.

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Farid Bakhtawar, a provincial council member from Farah, said the police headquarters and the district governor's office both fell to the Taliban after heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and the militants during the night.

The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility saying the district is now under their control. The victims are all members of a single family, he added.

The attack triggered a deadly skirmish between fighters from the militant movement and security forces.

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

During the past few months, Taliban militants have battled government security forces fiercely in Afghanistan's western province of Farah bordering Iran. It is conceivable, and conceivably desirable, that USA forces will be in Afghanistan, lending intelligence, logistical and even lethal support to that nation's military and security forces for another 1,000, perhaps 6,000, days. It came ahead of an expected increase in fighting with the end of winter and the approach of spring.

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