Afghan officials: Taliban attacks kill 11 troops, policemen
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A new wave of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan killed at least 11 Afghan soldiers and policemen on Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a particularly deadly week of assaults by militants.
At least five soldiers were killed when their checkpoint was attacked by the Taliban in western Farah province, according to Mohammad Naser Mehri, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
Two soldiers were wounded in that attack, in the Bala Buluk district. Mehri said six Taliban fighters were killed and three others were wounded in the battle, which lasted several hours.
“Reinforcements have arrived and right now, the situation is under control,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, insurgents killed at least four members of the local police force and wounded seven in eastern Ghazni province.
The Taliban there targeted the local police security post in the province’s district of Jaghatu, said Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor. He also said the gunbattle lasted several hours and that the Taliban used artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for both the Farah and the Ghazni attacks in messages to the media. He said the Taliban took two Afghan soldiers captive in the Farah attack but there was no immediate confirmation from the Afghan military on that.
Later Tuesday, two policemen were killed and six soldiers were captured in attacks on their checkpoints in western Badghis province, said Mohammad Naser Nazari, a member of the provincial council.
He blamed the Taliban and said insurgents there stormed several police and military checkpoints in Qadis district before reinforcements arrived and the situation was brought under control.
It has been a particularly deadly week in Afghanistan.
The Health Ministry in Kabul on Tuesday raised the death toll from a horrific suicide bombing by the Islamic State group earlier this week to 60, after three more of the wounded had died in hospital.
The ministry also said the number of wounded from Sunday’s attack, which targeted a voter registration center in Kabul, was now at 130 after all the data had been collected, including from private hospitals where the casualties were also taken after state hospitals became overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath of the bombing.
Also, on Monday, Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan killed 18 soldiers and policemen.