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Taliban Attacks Kill Over 65 Afghan Security Forces


FILE - An Afghan National Army soldier, left, shouts against the Taliban, after firing a rocket towards Taliban positions, on the outskirts of Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, Apr. 16, 2016.

Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan have killed as many as 65 government soldiers and police officers in three attacks.

Afghan officials said Saturday the overnight violence in the southern Kandahar, northern Kunduz and western Herat provinces also injured more than 17 security personnel.

Taliban rebels stormed an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Kandahar’s Shah Walikot district, local media quoted a regional military spokesman as confirming. Major Khwaja Yehya Alawi told the Afghan news agency, Pajhwok, the assault killed 25 soldiers while several others were missing.

A Taliban spokesman claimed its fighters killed 35 soldiers and captured six others besides seizing military vehicles and weapons. Insurgent casualty tolls are often inflated.

Provincial authorities in Kunduz said the Taliban ambushed police posts in the Qala-e-Zal district late Friday, killing 24 personnel stationed there.

The rest of the fatalities occurred when about 150 Taliban fighters stormed ANA posts in the newly created Zawal district and killed 17 soldiers, a government spokesman told VOA.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for carrying out both the attacks, saying it also overran several security posts and seized military equipment, including weapons.

The Islamist insurgency has inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan forces since launching its spring offensive in April and reportedly killed around 500 personnel last month. The fighting also killed more than 180 Afghan civilians in May.