Taliban Kill at Least a Dozen Afghan Soldiers، a Day After Peace Talks
Saturday 11/May/2019 - 03:33 PM
Afghan security forces
Taliban militants overran a cluster of government outposts in northwestern Afghanistan on Friday، leaving more than a dozen Afghan soldiers dead، including several troops from an elite police unit، officials said, according to The New York Times.
The brutal fighting came a day after the United States and the Taliban ended their sixth round of peace negotiations and the militant group said that it would continue to mount attacks، including ones like the car bomb directed at two Western aid organizations in Kabul on Wednesday that killed nine and wounded at least 20.
Col. Qais Mangal، a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry، said the Taliban had attacked two outposts in the Murghab district of Badghis Province that are shared by the army، the police and the National Directorate of Security. He said the Afghan military had sent reinforcements as the fighting continued.
“Unfortunately، the Afghan forces suffered casualties، but there isn’t any information about the exact number،” Colonel Mangal said.
Saleh Mohammad Mubarez، the district’s police commander، said that officers had recovered the bodies of 15 soldiers but that five were missing. Five police officers from the elite 444 Afghan Territorial Force were killed، he added. An official from the province said that several soldiers had been captured by the Taliban.
Murghab، one of the largest districts in Badghis، has been a battleground for Taliban and Afghan forces since early this year as both sides vie for control of the province’s main east-west road. In March، Taliban fighters nearly breached the district center before being repelled by government forces.