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Iran Press TV

Over 150 Afghan troops killed or injured in 24 hours: Senior official

Iran Press TV

Monday, 07 June 2021 3:09 PM

The Afghan Defense Ministry says more than 150 Afghan troops have been killed or injured in clashes in Maidan Wardak Province over the past 24 hours.

A ministry official said on Monday that the casualties were caused after the government forces launched an operation to recapture the strategic Nerkh district, located some 40 kilometres west of Kabul.

"In the past 24 hours, there were unfortunately 157 casualties among forces," the official was quoted as saying.

Several important highways to the country's central and southern provinces go through Nerkh district.

Large swathes of Maidan Wardak and neighboring Logar Province have been contested for years by the Taliban and have long been used by the militants as gateways to reach the capital and launch attacks.

The Taliban on Monday also seized Shahrak district of Ghor Province and forced Afghan forces to retreat to nearby villages after a heavy firefight.

On Sunday, a powerful car bomb targeting a police headquarters in the Khas Balkh district of Balkh resulted in death of at least four people.

On the same day, the Taliban militants stormed the Qaisar district of Faryab Province.

Fierce clashes in recent days over territory have increased and fighting is now raging in 26 of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has seen a sharp rise since the United States missed a withdrawal deadline it had agreed with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, last year.

The Taliban has warned that the passing of the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal "opened the way for" the militants to take every counteraction they deemed appropriate against foreign forces in the county.

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