31 troops, 50 Taliban Militants killed in Afghan clashes

Kabul: At least 31 troops members and 50 Taliban militants were killed and 15 other officers were wounded in several attacks on checkpoints in northeastern Afghanistan, officials told the media on Thursday.

Coordinated attacks on several checkpoints and an Afghan security forces base in Kunduz province and neighbouring Takhar began early on Thursday, said spokesperson of Takhar governor, Sanatullah Timori.

“Bodies of 31 security forces and 15 injured have been evacuated to Takhar hospital,” Timori said.

According to Timori, the Taliban captured several local police posts and an army base.

He said the insurgents withdrew after a brief shootout, following the arrival of more troops and added that the area was under government control now.

Hanif Rezaee, spokesperson for the 209th Shaheen Corps, in-charge of northern Afghanistan, told Efe news agency that at least 50 Taliban were killed in the clashes, but reduced the number of fatalities among Afghan forces to 15.

The insurgents first destroyed a bridge in the town of Pul-e-Momin, located between the provinces of Kunduz and Takhar, to prevent the reinforcements from reaching the area and then attacked the checkpoints, said Rezaee.

Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed the attack on a message on Twitter and claimed the insurgents took control of five checkpoints and killed and wounded 16 members of the security forces.

On June 9 several Taliban attacks on checkpoints in the Kunduz province had killed at least 14 policemen and eight insurgents.

Afghanistan is going through one of its bloodiest phases following the end of the NATO mission in 2015. NATO forces were currently present in the country only to help with training Afghan forces. (IANS)

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