(source: Radio Free Europe) – Afghan Forces ‘Push Back Taliban’ From Western City Of Farah

Afghan government forces have pushed back the Taliban from the capital of Farah Province in western Afghanistan, close to the Iranian border, officials say.

“Subdued” fighting was continuing in Farah city’s outskirts, and Afghan forces were being supported with U.S. airpower and advisers, a NATO spokesman said on May 16.

The attack, the first major assault targeting a provincial capital since the militants announced their annual spring offensive, began early on May 15 when several security checkpoints in the provincial capital were overrun.

The militants also captured one urban district and parts of another.

Afghan and NATO warplanes bombed the attackers’ positions, while special police forces and commandos were deployed in Farah, according to officials.

The Taliban, which announced the start of its annual spring offensive last month, claimed responsibility for the assault.

Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said 11 soldiers were killed in the fighting. Radmanish and NATO had previously said that “dozens” of militants died in the fighting.

Farah provincial Governor Abdul Basir Salangi and Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish gave far higher tolls. Danish said 300 Taliban had been killed, although Salangi said the wounded had also been included in the 300 toll. (…)


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