World Taliban emerge from hiding to battle Afghan forces in city near Iran

11:56  17 may  2018
11:56  17 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

US, Afghan attacks force Taliban to retreat from western city: officials

  US, Afghan attacks force Taliban to retreat from western city: officials Afghan commandos and US air attacks have driven the Taliban to the outskirts of Farah city, officials said Wednesday, after a day-long battle to prevent the insurgents from seizing the western provincial capital. The US carried out more drone strikes overnight and the Afghan army is still clearing the city, Afghan and NATO officials said. Shops, offices and schools remain closed, with residents frightened to leave home after hours of heavy fighting. A NATO spokesman said there could be more fighting Wednesday.

KABUL — Afghan forces backed by U.S. air power expelled most Taliban insurgents from the northern city of Kunduz on Tuesday On Tuesday, the fighting there forced officials to cancel a memorial ceremony for 42 victims of a U.S. airstrike that mistakenly hit a hospital during the battle last year.

The Taliban 's offensive in Kunduz, their biggest tactical success since 2001, marks a blow for Afghanistan 's Nato-trained forces 'Hit list'. A limited picture has emerged of conditions in the city following claim and counter-claim by the Afghan government and the Taliban over who was in control.

a man standing in front of a truck: Residents look at an Army vehicle which was damaged during battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban in Farah © REUTERS/Stringer Residents look at an Army vehicle which was damaged during battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban in Farah

Taliban fighters emerged from hiding in the dead of night to launch attacks in the Afghan city of Farah, battling government forces who thought they had cleared out the insurgents following heavy clashes earlier in the week, residents and officials said.

The heavily armed fighters had gone to ground in residential areas following their surprise attack on Tuesday, when they nearly overran Farah, before Afghan troops backed by U.S. air power fought them off.

"From one side, there were Taliban and from the other side, war planes firing from the air. People were terrified," said city shopkeeper Qudratullah.

Suicide bombers strike in Afghan capital, 6 wounded

  Suicide bombers strike in Afghan capital, 6 wounded Afghan officials say three suicide bombers have struck two police stations in the capital, wounding at least six people.Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish says the first suicide bomber struck a station in the western part of the city. He says there was sporadic gunfire after the blast, as a "cleanup operation" was underway. He says another two suicide bombers struck at the entrance of a police station in the city center.

Afghan forces battle to hold off Taliban in Helmand district. Civilians flee as clashes erupt in southern Afghan city . “It was exhausting forces in desert areas where they have less influence on the security of the civilians,” he said.

LOGAR Afghanistan (Reuters) - As many as 700 heavily armed Taliban insurgents are battling Afghan security forces in Logar, a key province near the Two months have passed since the run-off round of the election was held, but a winner has yet to emerge due to accusations of mass fraud and

The Taliban fighters emerged from their hiding places about an hour before midnight on Wednesday, some of them firing on security forces from rooftops, with gunbattles raging into the early hours of Thursday.

At least one suicide bomb attack was launched near the city's police headquarters.

"The city has been turned into a military zone, people are worried and shops are closed," said resident Baz Mohammad.

"After what happened last night, anything can happen any time."

Schools were also declared closed for the whole of the month of Ramadan, which began on Thursday, because of the security situation, said Kabir Haqmal, media advisor to the ministry of education.

After months of relative calm over the winter, the latest fighting underlines the challenge facing the Kabul government and its U.S. allies who are struggling to contain the Taliban insurgency.

Afghan cricket stadium attack leaves 8 dead, 45 wounded

  Afghan cricket stadium attack leaves 8 dead, 45 wounded Eight people were killed and 45 wounded in a series of explosions targeting a cricket match in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, officials said Saturday, the first attack since the holy month of Ramadan began. The blasts exploded among spectators crowded into the stadium at around 11pm (1830 GMT) on Friday evening as they watched the local "Ramadan Cup", the provincial governor's office said.No group has yet claimed the murders but the Taliban said they were not responsible in a WhatsApp message.

Afghan forces are battling to hold Marjah district centre in the volatile southern province of Helmand In a campaign with distinct echoes of the build-up to September's attack on the northern city of Kunduz, their biggest success in the 15-year war, Taliban forces have picked off a series of districts

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents launched attacks from multiple directions on the capital of Farah province in western Afghanistan near the border with Iran In recent months, Farah province has been the site of many battles between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents.

The United States has sent thousands of extra trainers to help Afghan forces and stepped up air strikes dramatically, with the aim of pressing the Taliban to the negotiating table, but there has been little to indicate the plan is working.

BLAMING IRAN

In Farah, U.S. forces have provided air support with A-10 attack aircraft and pilotless drones, while the Afghan air force has conducted numerous strikes with its own helicopters and A-29 ground attack aircraft.

Officials had earlier said the city was clear of Taliban but confirmed the fighting overnight.

"A number of Taliban clashed with Afghan forces in different parts of the city," said Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, the city's police chief.

"Right now there is no fighting but a search and clearance operation is underway," he said.

He said a number of foreign fighters appeared to be operating with the Taliban but there was no way of independently verifying that. Officials in Farah often blame neighbouring Iran for helping the Taliban in the area.

Fighting has increased across Afghanistan in recent weeks with government forces under heavy pressure in provinces including Badakhshan, Baghlan and Faryab in the north, Farah in the west and Zabul and Ghazni south of the capital Kabul.

In addition, Kabul itself has been targeted by a wave of suicide attacks that have killed and wounded hundreds of people since the beginning of the year.

Remote and sparsely populated Farah, on the border with Iran has seen heavy fighting for months with Taliban forces inflicting heavy casualties on the police and army and even on elite special forces units. (Additional reporting by Qadir Sediqi in KABUL Writing by James Mackenzie Editing by Robert Birsel)

Multiple blasts hit Afghan city, gunbattle underway-officials .
A gunbattle raged between Afghan security forces and a handful of militants following a series of explosions in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Sunday that killed at least four people and wounded at least 20, officials said. At least three explosions were heard at the start of what appeared to be a coordinated attack, Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor said. The firefight was taking place in a building housing the state accounts office.At least four people had been killed and 20 wounded, he said.The militant attack is the latest in a series across Afghanistan this year.

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