The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Taliban capture Afghanistan province bordering Iran Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Taliban capture Afghanistan province bordering Iran

US military December estimates put Afghan government control at 56% of districts [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 March, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
A large group of Taliban fighters have captured Afghanistan's western province, sapping the morale of an army already hit by desertions and corruption.
Taliban fighters captured a district centre in Afghanistan’s western province of Farah bordering Iran, officials said on Monday.

Naser Mehri, the governor’s spokesperson told Reuters that a large group of fighters had captured the centre of Anar Dara district on Sunday night after hours of fighting. Police and intelligence service forces were still holding out in their headquarters.

Pictures released by Taliban appear to show fighters in the town where skirmishes were taking place on Monday.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, the Taliban spokesperson, said 15 policemen had been killed and several military vehicles seized, along with a large quantity of ammunition.

The announcement comes days after local officials said the Taliban had inflicted heavy losses on the Afghan special forces in another district.

Heavy casualties have been inflicted on Taliban fighters in the neighbouring Helmand province, the main opium region in the country and centre of insurgency, increasing the pressure on Farah.

American president Donald Trump announced last year a new and more robust military strategy, promising more airstrikes and greater support offered to the Afghani forces.

Despite being unable to take any major provincial cities, the insurgents have been able to seize a number of district centres, even if they are recaptured soon by government reinforcements.

US military estimates put Afghan government control at 56 percent of districts, with insurgents controlling or contesting the rest, according to data collected in December.

At least nine people were killed last week when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a Shia area of Kabul on Friday, as militants dial up pressure on the war-weary Afghan capital.

The third suicide attack in the city in a fortnight comes as the Taliban face growing pressure to take up the Afghan government's recent offer of peace talks to end a more than 16-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.

Afghan soldiers have taken what the UN describes as "shocking" casualties since international forces ended their combat role at the end of 2014, though troop casualty figures are no longer released.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More