Taliban attacks kill 27 members of Afghan security forces
Kabul, Sep 17 (AP) The Taliban launched multiple attacks on Afghan checkpoints as well as police and military bases in different parts of the country, killing at least 27 members of the security forces, Afghan officials said Monday.
The attacks and the high casualty toll underscore the difficulties Afghan forces face in trying to secure the country on their own. The Afghan forces have struggled to combat both the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate since the US and NATO formally ended their combat mission in the country in 2014.
In western Farah province, attacks began on Sunday night and killed at least 17 members of the security forces. Fared Bakhtawer, head of the provincial council, said the Taliban attacked police checkpoints across the province and around the provincial capital.
A group of Taliban fighters first targeted checkpoints in the district of Push Rod, where 10 policemen died. Another attack struck in Bala Buluk district, where seven were killed and at least three others were abducted by the insurgents. Separately, also in Bala Buluk, six policemen surrendered to the Taliban after an intense battle.
There were also attacks elsewhere in Farah but Bakhtawer couldn't provide any casualty figures, pending more detailed reports.
In northwestern Badghis province, five officers were killed, including Abdul Hakim, the police commander of a reserve unit, in an attack that took place on Monday morning near the provincial capital of Qala-i-Now.
Jamshid Shahabi, spokesman for the Badghis governor, said around 22 Taliban fighters were killed and 16 others were wounded during the gunbattle there.
In northern Baghlan province, the Taliban on Monday attacked a joint army and police base, killing three army and two police officers, said Gen. Ekramuddin Serih, the provincial police chief. Four other members of the security forces were wounded in the attack, which took place in the Baghlani Markazi district, he said.
"The base is under the control of the Afghan security forces now and reinforcements have also been sent to the district," he said. The police chief added that at least 20 Taliban were killed and wounded in the fighting.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi said the Taliban were claiming responsibility for the attacks in Farah. Separately, the insurgents also claimed the attack in Badghis.
The Taliban have a strong presence in all three provinces and often attack on Afghan security forces there.