May 16, 2018
After severe clashes between security forces and Taliban militants in Farah, the situation turned calm on Wednesday after the deployment of commando units in the western province. Journalists were transferred Tuesday to a military base on the outskirts of the provincial capital for further security.
Their transfer took in the wake of negotiations and coordination between the journalists’ federation and security forces.
Head of journalists’ safety committee, Seddiqullah Tawhidi, said that the journalists were transported to the military base in the coordination with Ahmad Shah Fetrat, head of the Radio Donya (World), a local channel.
Fetrat thanked security forces and the media supporting organizations especially the journalists’ federation for transporting reporters to the military base.
“Security forces with the cooperation of media supporting organizations particularly the journalists’ federation, transported us Tuesday night to the military base which is a safe place. Security forces provide us with everything we need and ask if we still need something they could provide. I am grateful to them,” said Fetrat.
He added that all journalists were secure overnight at the base and felt comfortable. On Wednesday morning journalists were told the city was safe, so they returned to their homes, according to Fetrat.
Mojib Khalvatgar, head of media support watchdog (NAI), also said that journalists were transferred to the military base in coordination between media support organs and the security official, and that it was not done by a single person or organization.
He added that both media support watchdogs and security forces agreed to work together to provide security for the journalists in Farah province.
Hamidullah Hamidi, head of Radio Neshat (Joy), another local broadcaster, said the transfer took place late in the midnight, so a few journalists went to the military base, while others preferred to stay at their houses with their families.
Provincial Spokesman, Naser Mehri, said the situation was calm now in Farah city after reinforcements arrived. “Taliban could not resist and escaped from the city last night,” Mehri said, adding that the insurgents even fled the nearby villages they had earlier captured. Situation in the Farah city is now calm and residents are returning to their houses, according to Mehri.
He said that more reinforcements were deployed to Farah on Wednesday. “Fighting is going to be over. There is no report of civilian casualties, but there are damages to some houses and government offices.”
Taliban fighters launched attacks on Farah city from multiple directions Tuesday morning, capturing more parts of the city, including police department, the intelligence department office, police districts 2 and 3.
The city was cleared from insurgents after additional troops arrived in the city. The city is calm now and people are safe in their houses.
Reporting by: Fariba Faizi
Editing by: Center for Protection of Afghan Woman Journalists