At least 19 killed by Taliban attacks in Afghanistan
April 01 2019 02:24 PM
Afghan

Dpa/Kabul

At least 19 security forces were killed in a series of Taliban attacks in the provinces Badghis and Sar-e Pul, officials said on Monday.

Taliban attacked army checkpoints in Bala Murghab district of the western province of Badghis. At least 14 people were killed and five injured, provincial councillors Abdul Aziz Beig and Mohammad Nasir Nazari said.

Taliban militants control large parts of the district and have besieged the district centre for a month, with little effort from the government to recapture it, Beig said.

Government forces have lost their morale against the militants, he added.

In northern Sar-e Pul province, Taliban fighters overran a military base in Suzmah Qala district, killing five soldiers, provincial council chief Mohammad Noor Rahmani said.

Another five were injured, and the Taliban took at least six soldiers hostage, according to the official.

Large parts of the province have been controlled by the Taliban for years, Rahmani said.

Earlier Vice President Abdul Rasheed Dostum warned that Taliban attacks would intensify this year.

The militants continue to stage major attacks on security forces despite being engaged in talks with the United States to find a political solution to the almost two-decades-long war that has ravaged the Central Asian nation.

The group's military gains have won them considerable leverage in political talks, the peace advocacy organization International Crisis Group says.



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