Late in the afternoon, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, issued a statement on WhatsApp messaging groups claiming that insurgents had taken “most parts of Farah city.” He said that three senior Afghan security officers were among dozens killed in the insurgents’ assault, but he also acknowledged that fighting continued at police headquarters and government offices in the city.
In Kabul, Afghan officials said they would expel the Taliban from Farah. “We are hoping to get control of the fighting in the city by today,” Gen. Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said in a news conference. “Our reinforcements are trying to use their capabilities to overcome the situation.”
The Ministry of Interior spokesman, Najib Danish, said the elite 444 Special Forces police unit was being deployed from Kandahar in the south. “We have the people of Farah by our side, they are backing us.”
Local officials in Farah, however, were less confident.
“The Taliban are in the city now,” said Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, a member of Parliament from Farah. “The city is closed, people are panicked and in a state of fear. Some people left their homes and fled the city, some are trapped. The fighting is ongoing in the city. The Taliban took control of some government buildings but some are contested right now.”
“I don’t know where the governor is,” Mr. Osmani added. “But I know the police chief might be in the front line fighting off the Taliban.”