Afghan security personnel killed in alleged Taliban attacks

Attacks took place on police checkpoints in Kunduz province, while a civilian died in Ghazni during an attempted suicide attack.

At least nine Afghan security personnel have been killed in attacks on two police checkpoints overnight in the restive northern Kunduz province, with government officials blaming the Taliban for the attacks.

Officials on Friday reported members of the armed group launched simultaneous attacks in Kunduz, a region bordering Tajikistan that has seen regular clashes between the Taliban and government forces.

The fighting left nine Afghan security personnel dead, Kunduz Governor Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal told the AFP news agency.

The region’s provincial council member, Khaluddin Hakimi, said 10 members of security forces were killed in the fighting while 10 others were wounded, the AFP reported.

There was no comment by the Taliban.

In the southeastern Ghazni province, one civilian was killed and at least seven soldiers wounded on Friday after government forces shot a fighter inside an explosive-packed vehicle.

The Ghazni governor’s spokesman, Wahidullah Jumazada, told the DPA news agency Taliban fighters attacked security bases surrounding the province’s capital from several directions, but the attacks were repulsed with the help of air support.

Despite ongoing talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, deadly attacks targeting civilians and security forces have surged across the country in the last few months.

The negotiations are aimed at ending decades of war, but there has been no breakthrough so far.

Delegations from both sides arrived in Doha, Qatar, last week to resume peace talks.

On Friday, the United States announced it met its goal of reducing the number of soldiers in Afghanistan to about 2,500.

Last February, the Trump administration struck a deal with the Taliban to reduce US troop levels in phases and to move them out completely by May 2021. It remains unclear how the incoming Biden administration will proceed.