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Iran Press TV

About two dozen soldiers, 9 civilians killed in Taliban attacks across Afghanistan

Iran Press TV

Monday, 20 April 2020 3:24 PM

Nearly two dozen Afghan government forces and nine civilians have been killed by the Taliban militant group in separate attacks across the country, officials say.

The militants carried out the attacks late on Sunday in the northeastern province of Takhar, Uruzgan in the south, and Balkh in the north of Afghanistan.

Khalil Asir, provincial police spokesman in Takhar, told AFP that the Taliban struck an Afghan army base on Sunday night, killing 16 soldiers and two policemen.

The Takhar governor's spokesman, Mohammad Jawad Hejri, confirmed the attack by the militants, but put the death toll at 19.

In the south, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint near Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, and killed five police officers there.

"Five Afghan policemen were killed and three others were wounded," said Zelgai Ebadi, a spokesman for the Uruzgan governor.

In the northern province of Balkh, the Taliban claimed the lives of nine civilians after they reportedly refused to give the militants money.

The militant group has yet to comment on the reports, but it previously claimed the US and Afghan forces had targeted its members despite a ceasefire deal with Washington in February.

Under the deal, the Taliban agreed to halt their attacks in return for Washington's phased withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan and a prisoner exchange with the Afghan government.

Kabul, which was excluded from the talks and was thus not a signatory to the accord, is required to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The militants are obliged to free 1,000 pro-government captives in return.

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 under the pretext of the so-called war against terror, overthrowing the Taliban regime that had ruled over the country till then.

Since the US-led invasion, Washington has reportedly spent more than one trillion dollars on the war in Afghanistan.

About 2,400 US soldiers have been killed, along with unknown numbers of Afghan troops and Taliban militants. Over 100,000 Afghans have been killed or injured since 2009 when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.

About 14,000 US troops and approximately 17,000 troops from NATO allies and partner countries remain stationed in Afghanistan.

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