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20 police martyred, 13 Taliban killed in Farah

AT-KABUL: At least 20 police officers embraced martyrdom, while a dozen of Taliban insurgents have been killed in separate clashes erupted between them in western Farah province, police and local residents said on Tuesday.

Police confirmed the martyrdom of only colleagues, but said 13 Taliban insurgents were killed in retaliatory fire.

Dadullah Qanai, a member of the provincial council member and resident of Shamalgah area of Farah City, where the clash occurred, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban militants stormed a police post in the area.

He said the post was overrun by the Taliban insurgents, but the Afghan forces recaptured it later.

The Taliban killed five policemen and took hostage four others in the attack, he added, saying the militants also seized weapons and ammunition from the post and torched a Humvee tank. He had no information about Taliban casualties.

However, some local officials said at least 20 policemen were martyred and eight others taken hostage by the Taliban rebels.

Elsewhere in Farah, the Taliban stormed security posts in Farahrod Bazaar in Bala Bolok district on Monday night.

Atiqullah, a resident of the area, said the Taliban attacked three security posts in the area and briefly captured one of them rebels.

The attackers martyred 15 policemen and kidnapped four others in the attack, said the resident, who was not aware if the rebels had also suffered casualties.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, claimed 26 security personnel were killed and 10 others were taken hostage in the Farahrod attack.

He said the fighters also seized all ammunition from the government forces.

But Naser Mahri, the governor’s spokesman, rejected Taliban’s claim and said eight policemen and 13 Taliban were killed in Monday’s night attack.

Mahri also rejected some policemen had been taken hostage and said no security post had fallen to the rebel group.

According to reports, 17 policemen have been killed in similar attacks in Farah in the past one week.

About two weeks ago, a number of Italian soldiers arrived in Farah to support Afghan air forces in their operations against militants.

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