An overnight Taliban assault on checkpoints in northern Afghanistan killed 22 troops, after some 100 Afghan forces fled heavy fighting in the country’s west last week and tried to cross into neighboring Turkmenistan, officials said Sunday. The two battles mark the latest setbacks for the country’s battered security forces, who come under daily attack and have suffered staggering casualties in recent years. The attacks have continued even as the Taliban have been holding direct negotiations with the United States aimed at ending the 17-year war. Mohammad Tahir Rahmani, head of provincial council in the northern Faryab province, said the insurgents launched the attack late Saturday against checkpoints manned by police and pro-government militias in Qaisar district, setting off a fierce gunbattle that lasted into Sunday morning. The army sent in reinforcements, who were among those killed. He said another 20 Afghan forces were wounded in the attack. “The Taliban have gained control of more areas in the district” after stepping up attacks in recent weeks, Rahmani said, adding that troops reinforcements have arrived from the capital Provincial police spokesman Karim Yuresh confirmed that a large number of Taliban launched attacks in Faryab, but he could not immediately provide more details…. Read full this story
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