Afghan forces battle Taliban fighters in Farah province

Afghan forces battle Taliban fighters in Farah province

Afghan forces battle Taliban fighters in Farah province

The Taliban overran a district headquarters in Afghanistan's western Farah province early on Monday, killing and wounding at least 15 members of the security forces, a provincial official said.

Six other police officers were killed in a separate assault in the provincial capital.

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In recent months, Farah province has witnessed an increase in attacks by insurgents against security forces and local officials have requested the deployment of more forces in the province.

The exact number of killed or wounded is still not clear as the fighting is still under way, officials said.

Although no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, Bakhtawer said Taliban fighters had conducted the raid, hitting the district police and administrative offices from severaldirections.

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Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said two other people in the vehicle were wounded in the attack, which was in the Bati Kot district.

The development came as insurgent attacks against security forces have stepped up across Afghanistan, including in Farah province.

The victims are all members of a single family, Khogyani added.

Those among the killed were nine members of the Afghan Special Operations Forces, according to the report.

On February 24, at least 18 Afghan soldiers were killed after Taliban militants attacked a security checkpoint in the province. "There are casualties to the police, but we lost contact with them and we have no idea about their condition, including the police chief of the district".

With the approach of milder spring weather, security officials have said they expect fighting to surge as the Taliban, fighting to drive out worldwide forces and re-impose their version of strict Islamic law, step up pressure.

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