‘Farah city will fall to Taliban’ say locals as heavy clashes force govt out in Afghanistan

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Heavy clashes are ongoing between government forces and Taliban insurgents in the capital city of western Farah province of Afghanistan, provincial council members confirmed on Tuesday.

Kabul based TOLO News reported, the clashes started at about 2am early Tuesday after Taliban insurgents started clashes in the city, a member of the provincial council Dadullah Qane said, adding that “clashes are ongoing in several parts of the city and close to National Directorate of Security (NDS) department.”

In the meantime, the residents of the city said that “if the government does not send more troops to the province, Farah city will fall into the hands of the Taliban.”

“The people are running from the city and the situation is very bad,” said a resident of Farah.

Another resident said: “The government forces have conducted a number of operations in different parts of the city in the past few days, but this hasn’t had any results.”

Clashes have been ongoing for the past few months in different parts of Farah province. Dozens of Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents have been killed and injured.

On Monday, officials said in 19 days the Taliban has carried out over 2,700 attacks around the country.

In the last week, clashes between security forces and militants in Farah, Baghlan, Faryab, Ghor and Badakhshan province ended in high casualty rates.

Earlier the Taliban had said in a statement that the group made it clear to the US in its recent letter that “war is not our choice, rather it has been imposed upon us. For ending the occupation, we want a peaceful resolution to the Afghan issue.”

ALSO READ: Taliban announces its readiness to talk with US to find a ‘peaceful solution’

The statement noted that “it must now be established by America and her allies that the Afghan issue cannot be solved militarily.

“America must henceforth focus on a peaceful strategy for Afghanistan instead of war. Military strategies which have repeatedly been tested in Afghanistan over the past seventeen years will only intensify and prolong the war. And this is not in the interest of anyone.”

In January, after a wave of bombings which rocked Afghanistan lately, US President Donald Trump had ruled out any form of talks with the Afghan Taliban.

“Innocent people are being killed left and right” by the Taliban, he told the members of the UN Security Council at a White House lunch on Monday. “Bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families — bombing, killing all over Afghanistan.”

ALSO READ: There is no talking with Taliban, we are going to ‘finish them’, says Trump

“So there’s no talking to the Taliban,” he said. “We do not want to talk to the Taliban.”

“We’re going to finish what we have to finish,” he said while adding, “What nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do it.”

In August, 2017, The Taliban called on President Donald Trump on Tuesday to review the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and to hold peaceful dialogue directly with Afghans instead of engaging “corrupt” politicians.

ALSO READ: Taliban call on Trump to leave Afghanistan

The Taliban, alternatively spelled Taleban, which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a ‘Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement’ in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country.

Until his death in 2013, Mullah Mohammed Omar was the supreme commander and spiritual leader of the Taliban. Mullah Akhtar Mansour was elected as his replacement in 2015, and following Mansour’s killing in a May 2016 U.S. drone strike, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada became the group’s leader.

The Taliban negotiated and ‘asked’ Trump to study the “historical mistakes” of his predecessors and to withdraw troops from Afghanistan completely.

ALSO READ: Pakistan, Afghanistan and China meet in Beijing, resolve to fight terrorism


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