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Taliban overruns western Afghan city in blitz attack

The Taliban launched an attack on the capital of the western Afghan province of Farah, briefly overrunning the city.

At least 25 members of the Afghan security forces were killed in the attack on Tuesday.

Afghan provincial official Fared Bakhtawer said "security checkpoints around the city have collapsed into the hands of the Taliban, causing high casualties among security forces."

Though the Taliban have now left the city, a spokesperson said that “without any disturbance, the mujahideen withdrew to their safe positions,” according to Reuters. Afghan security officials claimed to have killed hundreds of fighters.

The storming of the city comes as the Taliban launched the Spring Offensive last month and are engaged in heavy fighting across the country. In Ghazni, to the east of the country, Taliban fighters have reportedly captured a key highway for the past two weeks.

The city of Andar is also under attack.

“There is no way of supplying Andar by road, so it has to be supplied by air,” said provincial council member Ahmad Faqiri. “If the district doesn’t get supplies and reinforcements, there will be a disaster.”

See more from Reuters here, the NYT here and Al Jazeera here.