Militants 'Capture District Headquarters' In Afghan Province

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Lashkar Gah: Afghan forces backed by air strikes battled on Monday to recapture a district centre in the western province of Farah, after Taliban fighters seized the town in an overnight attack that killed several policeman, regional officials said.

This comes after President Ashraf Ghani laid out a new peace offer to the Taliban two weeks ago.

"The district governor's compound and police headquarters are near the southern entrance of the district, and both are overrun by the Taleban", Mr Qani said.

Fared Bakhtawer, the head provincial council in Farah, said Monday that initial information shows around 15 security forces were killed and wounded in the fighting at the Anardara district headquarters.

The Afghan forces also carried out heavy airstrikes during the day in Anar Dara and more than 50 Taliban fighters were report killed so far, he added.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying 15 police officers were killed and several military vehicles seized along with a large quantity of ammunition.

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Jamila Amini, another provincial council member from the district, said that the police chief and four of his men had been injured and that fierce fighting was still ongoing in the north of the district where an Afghan army base is located.

"There is no word on whether these people have been killed, wounded or escaped the area", he said.

"The overall situation in Afghanistan probably will deteriorate modestly this year in the face of persistent political instability, sustained attacks by the Taleban-led insurgency, unsteady Afghan National Security Forces performance, and chronic financial shortfalls", Mr Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence, told the US Senate last week.

Farah is one of the most heavily fought-over provinces in Afghanistan.

Officials say the fighters have stepped up attacks against Afghan security forces in the province, which has often come under deadly attacks.

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