Taleban launch assault on Afghan provincial capital Qala-i-Naw

The Taleban are inside the police headquarters of the city and the local office of the country's spy agency.
The Taleban are inside the police headquarters of the city and the local office of the country's spy agency.PHOTO: NYTIMES

HERAT, AFGHANISTAN (AFP) - The Taleban on Wednesday (July 7) launched their first assault on a provincial capital in Afghanistan since waging a major offensive against government forces, local officials said.

Fierce fighting erupted in the western city of Qala-i-Naw, the capital of Badghis, after the militants captured all the surrounding districts of the province.

"The enemy has entered the city, all the districts have fallen. The fighting has started inside the city," Badghis governor Hessamuddin Shams told reporters in a text message.

Badghis provincial council chief Abdul Aziz Bek confirmed the fighting in the city.

He told AFP that some security officials surrendered to the Taleban during the night.

Provincial council member Zia Gul Habibi said the Taleban were inside the police headquarters of the city and local office of the country's spy agency National Directorate of Security.

"The provincial council officials have fled to an army camp in the city. Fighting continues in the city," she added.