FILE -- In this March 9, 2016 file photo, smoke rises from a building, where Taliban insurgents hide during a fire fight with Afghan security forces, in Helmand province, south west Afghanistan. (AP Photo, File)
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Fighting raged Thursday in Helmand after Afghanistan rushed military reinforcements to beat back Taliban insurgents advancing on the besieged capital of the southern poppy-growing province, as officials downplayed fears the city could fall.Afghan forces fought back insurgents after they stormed Nawa district, just south of Lashkar Gah city, late Wednesday, raising alarm that the provincial capital was at risk.The Taliban effectively control or contest 10 of the 14 districts in Helmand, the deadliest province for British and U.S. forces in Afghanistan over the past decade.The fighting in Helmand comes as Afghan troops are stretched on multiple fronts across Afghanistan -- including eastern Nangarhar province where ISIS is making inroads.
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