Afghan security forces, 8 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan clashes

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Taliban militants stormed the city of Farah, the capital of Farah Province on the border with Iran on Tuesday morning, Afghan media initially reported.

However, another official said that "the Taliban captured several security checkpoints inside and around the city".

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".

Mujahid said Taliban fighters launched a multipronged attack and overran a large number of checkpoints belonging to Afghan security forces in the city.

According to Gen. Radmanish, scores of militants have also joined the Taliban from the other parts of the country and the neighboring provinces.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said both Afghan and foreign air forces were participating in the battle.

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Clashes in Farah come amid the Taliban's annual spring offensive, as they vow to target the "American invaders".

A doctor from the provincial hospital in Farah, who did not want to be identified, said so far two dead and 16 wounded members of the Afghan security forces, as well as five wounded civilians including women and children, had been taken to the hospital.

"Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombarding Taliban positions", she told AFP Tuesday from inside Farah.

However, there was no immediate confirmation from NATO's mission in Kabul. "Situation will change by the end of the day!"

Danish rejected the reports suggesting that the police chief of the police district#3 of the city has been killed during the clashes.

Another provincial council member, Dadullah Qani, confirmed Hissaini's comments, the sound of gunfire and explosions audible as he spoke to an AFP reporter by telephone.

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The Taliban issued a statement warning residents to remain inside their homes and called on people to "stay calm".

Farah is a poppy-growing province in a hard to reach part of Afghanistan which a section of the multi-billion-dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline will traverse.

A local administrator said the attack by Taliban insurgents was an example of intelligence failure.

The Taliban have pledged to cooperate with the project.

Farah has been the scene of intense fighting in recent years. In 2017 insurgents tried three times to overrun the capital, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

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