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Iran Press TV

Afghan forces push Taliban out of most of Tarin Kot

Iran Press TV

Fri Sep 9, 2016 4:53PM

Afghan government forces have pushed Taliban militants out of most of the southern city of Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province.

Mohammad Radmanish, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, announced on Friday that the government forces had regained control over all strategic locations inside the provincial capital.

Sporadic fighting was only underway in the city's northeastern neighborhood, Radmanish said.

The announcement came a day after the city was nearly overrun by Taliban.

On Thursday, reports said the militants had pushed deep into the city.

According to provincial police chief Wais Samim, the militants had reached within a few hundred meters of the governor's compound and police headquarters.

City officials had appealed to the government in Kabul to send reinforcements to repel the assault on the city. Kabul later sent reinforcements, backed by army commandos, to confront the militants.

Radmanish said over 80 Taliban militants had been killed in fierce fighting in the past 24 hours as Afghan forces pushed the militants out of the provincial capital.

He did not provide a casualty count on the number of Afghan forces or civilians killed during the battle.

Doost Mohammad Nayab, Uruzgan's provincial spokesman, said on Friday that Taliban were forced to retreat to a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) perimeter around the city.

Nayab put the death toll from Taliban at about one hundred, while the Afghans forces lost eight troops and had 10 wounded.

However, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi claimed otherwise. "We are still holding our positions," he said. He claimed the militants even had several Afghan policemen in custody.

Ahmadi also denied Afghan officials' reports regarding the high number of casualties among Taliban militants.

Over the past few months, Afghan government forces have been battling Taliban across the southern province of Helmand, as well as the northern city of Kunduz, the provincial capital of Kunduz province.

Taliban, which ruled the country from 1996 until the 2001 US-led military invasion of Afghanistan, has since retreated to rural areas, resorting to hit-and-run attacks on cities.

Many parts of the country still remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.

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