Conflicts & War

At least 28 security forces killed in Taliban offensives in north Afghanistan

Kabul, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- At least 28 security forces were killed Wednesday in a large scale Taliban attack in the insecure northeastern parts of Afghanistan, according to officials, who also reported casualties among the insurgents.

The attack by a large number of Taliban militants began around 1.30 am local time in the Baharak and Khawaja-Ghar districts of Takhar province.

“In Baharak district, unfortunately more than 25 members of the security forces, including Deputy Security Chief of the province (Raz Mohammad Doorandish) were martyred and several injured,” Takhar governor’s office spokesperson Jawad Hijri told EFE.

The casualties were a part of a contingent of security forces that was sent to Baharak overnight to counter the insurgents.

Three other members of the Afghan forces were killed and several police officers were wounded in another attack by insurgents in Khawaja-Ghar district in the same province.

“The death toll may increase in the coming hours as sporadic clashes are still underway in these areas,” Hijri said.

The spokesman said the Taliban also suffered casualties in the clashes, but did not provide an exact number.

A security official in Takhar, who asked not to be named, told EFE that the Afghan forces continue to evacuate the casualties from the area.

“The number of security forces, martyred in last night’s clashes is higher than the 28 persons. The casualties involve both police and army members,” the official said without to providing further details.

Over the past 24 hours, there have been armed clashes between the Taliban fighters and the security forces across 25 other provinces in the country.

“In the counter-attacks of the security forces 116 Taliban fighters were killed and 39 more injured” in the past 24 hours, the Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

These clashes occur at a moment when violence has been on rise in the country, especially in recent weeks.

However, both the Afghan government and the Taliban claim their forces remain in defensive posture as a result of the ongoing intra-Afghan talks in Doha to usher in peace after nearly two decades of conflict.

The parties in the intra-Afgan talks, which have been going on for the last one month, have so far failed to reach an agreement on the rules and regulations necessary for the main phase of the negotiations.

The talks are a result of a peace deal signed between the United States and the insurgents in the Qatari capital of Doha on Feb.29 that laid the ground work for the phased withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in return for guarantees that the Asian country would not be used for activities against Washington. EFE-EPA


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