Taliban attacks another Afghan city as offensive broadens

KABUL (dpa)– Taliban militants have attacked the western Afghan city of Farah as their campaign to try to overrun provincial capitals intensifies.
​The militants launched the offensive from three different directions towards the city late on Thursday, provincial councillors Shah Mahmood Naeemi and Abdul Samad Salehi said.

The militants managed to take over a recruitment centre for the Afghan national army inside the city, the councillors added. However, drone strikes slowed down their progress and fighting continues in three areas.
The Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist movement which has waged an insurgency in Afghanistan since being deposed from power in 2001 by the United States, has attacked a range of cities in the last two weeks as peace talks with the US take place. 
Military experts say the assaults are an attempt to gain leverage in the negotiations and to show the group will continue to pose a major threat if demands are not met. 
The group also attacked a military base in the Tala wa Barfak district of the northern province of Baghlan, provincial councillors said.
Provincial council member, Samiuddin Nazir, spoke of six killed and two wounded soldiers. However, another councillor, Feroziddin Aimaq, spoke of 20 dead. 
Last week, the Taliban attacked the provincial capital of the province, Pul-e Khumri, in a bid to take the city.
While the fighting has stopped, Taliban fighters are still present in the city. They also still control the highways that connect the city to the northern provinces.
The Taliban also attacked a number of checkpoints close to Maidan Shar, the provincial capital of the central Wardak province.
Last week they also tried to overrun the northern city of Kunduz, but left after a day of fighting and a suicide bombing. 

Friday, September 6th 2019

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