KABUL – Afghanistan authorities said on Wednesday security forces had pushed the Taliban back from the western city of Farah a day after an offensive by the insurgents in which they captured several parts of the city.
Around 2,000 Taliban militants attacked Farah, the capital of the province with the same name, early Tuesday from the north and west.
“Farah city is fully calm and under control of the security forces, all those areas of the city where (the) enemy had activities yesterday were, last night and today ... cleared of the enemy presence by our brave forces,” Afghan defense ministry spokesperson Mohammad Radmanish told EFE.
The Afghan army, police and the country’s main intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, carried out the counter-operations with support from Afghan and US warplanes to push back the Taliban, according to Radmanish.
“Our forces and units are chasing the enemy groups who are on the run to the western and northern remote areas of the province,” the spokesperson said.
He added that at least 300 Taliban fighters were killed in the operation while another 100 were wounded, many of them in an attack on an insurgent convoy.
The governor of Farah, Nasir Mehri, also told EFE that over 300 insurgents were killed and added that 25 members of the security forces and five civilians also lost their lives during the counter-operation.
“Now the situation in the city is normal, people are slowly starting their daily life,” Mehri said.
In a statement, Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousuf Ahmadi denied that 300 insurgents had been killed and said they retreated voluntarily from the city after accomplishing their goal of defeating the enemy and seizing their weapons, ammunition and vehicles.
Since the end of the NATO combat mission in January 2015, Kabul has been gradually losing ground to the Taliban and now controls only 56 percent of the country, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction of the United States Congress.