Afghan capital Kabul hit by explosion

Afghan capital Kabul hit by explosion

Following Sunday's blast, four attackers stormed the finance directorate in the provincial capital, triggering heavy fighting with security officials.

"Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombing Taliban positions", Amini told the media by telephone from inside the city. He said fighters launched attacks form multiple directions, after which they overran several checkpoints in the city.

Farah Province also borders Helmand Province, where the Taliban controls several districts.

Taliban militants, who ruled the country before being ousted in late 2001, have intensified armed attacks against security forces since April 25 during their annual rebel offensive.

Gen. Radmanish confirmed that at least ten militants have been killed during the clashes so far although the exact number could not be confirmed.

The Defense Ministry denied reports of attacks on the NDS compound. "There is no extra force to help us and the situation is getting worse", Mr. Bakhtawar said.

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Special police forces from Kandahar and commandos from Herat had also been deployed in Farah, Afghan officials said.

"Government reinforcements have arrived including around 100 commando forces".

Bakhtawer says up to 30 security forces were killed or wounded in the attacks.

Reuters quoted residents as saying Taliban forces had set up illegal checkpoints in parts of the city and were stopping people from leaving.

"The Taliban are moving very fast, if the government does not take serious and speedy action, the province is going to collapse to Taliban", local resident Hamidullah said. The province has seen ongoing clashes for several months. Since then, Afghan security forces have suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the insurgents but claim they have inflicted heavy damage on the Taliban in return.

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