At least 37 members of Afghan security forces and pro-government fighters have been killed in separate attacks carried out by the Taliban in the country’s north, according to provincial officials.
Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of the provincial council in Kunduz province, said that at least 13 security forces were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in Dashti Archi district, with another 15 members of the security forces wounded there.
The firefight began late on Sunday and continued into Monday morning.
Meanwhile, in Jawzjan province, Provincial Police Chief General Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani said the Taliban launched attacks in Khamyab district from different directions, forcing Afghan forces to withdraw from the district headquarters.
“There was intense fighting and we didn’t want civilian houses destroyed, or any civilian casualties,” said Jawzjani.
He said that at least eight policemen were killed and three other police personnel were wounded.
Seven Taliban fighters were also killed and eight were wounded during the gun battle, he added.
Taliban claims responsibility
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kunduz and Jawzjan provinces.
The armed group also killed another 14 local Afghan policemen and pro-government militiamen in the Dara Suf district of Samangan province, provincial spokesman Sediq Azizi said, adding that six others were also wounded.
Azizi added that three Taliban fighters were killed and four others were wounded during the Monday morning battle.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Samangan, but Azizi blamed Taliban fighters who are active in the province and often target Afghan security forces and local, pro-government militias.
In the northern Sari Pul province, Taliban fighters attacked checkpoints of the army and pro-government militia near the provincial capital, Sari Pul city, provincial police chief General Abdul Qayum Baqizai said.
Two pro-government fighters were killed and two others wounded, he said, but had no details on any possible casualties among the army.
“The Taliban’s attack has been repelled, but sporadic gun battles are underway at the outskirts of the city,” he added.
The Taliban has not yet commented on the fighting in Sari Pul province.