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At least 52 soldiers killed in two days of bloodshed

A disturbing and bloody escalation of violence and a spate of full-fledged attacks are taking a devastating toll on Afghan soldiers in the north

AT News

KABUL: It was another bloody day for security forces in northern Afghanistan with Taliban insurgents killing nineteen more soldiers, pushing army death toll from yesterday to 52.

Over 19 troops were killed in overnight attack Taliban attacks on security outposts in Sar-e-Pul and Logar provinces on Tuesday, local officials said on Wednesday.

Eleven soldiers were killed in clashes with the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul province in Sozma Qala and Sancharak districts when the Taliban attacked security checkpoints, said Zabihullah Amani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. “The clashes continued for three hours and most of the fighters came from Jawzjan province,” Amani said. 

The Taliban also took casualties but “we don’t have the exact number,” he added.

Eight Afghan security force members were killed in a Taliban attack on a checkpoint in Aynak Copper Mine in Logar province on Tuesday night, said Qadir Mufti, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.

And in Kandahar, at least 31 Taliban were killed in an attack on security checkpoints in Zherai, Meyanshen and Spin Boldak districts of Kandahar province on Tuesday night, Kandahar police confirmed on Wednesday, adding that “seven Afghan forces were also wounded in the attacks.”

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for Sar-e-Pul but has not commented on the attacks in Kandahar and Logar.

Thirty three Afghan troops were killed across Afghanistan on Sunday in overnight Taliban attacks, one of the deadliest days since a 7 day lull in violence back in February and an immediate and subsequent signing of a peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban.

In a Taliban attack on a local police outpost in Takhar’s Khawja Qar district, 19 troops were killed and dozens wounded, said Takhar gubernatorial spokesman. Mohamad Javad Hejri said the situation is under control.

In a firefight between government forces and militants in Balkh’s Sholgara district, police chief said, 9 troops were killed and 5 wounded including a child. Three Taliban militants including a local commander aka Mawlawi Saifullah was killed in the skirmish, he added.

Local sources are saying the route connecting Sholgara to Dalan village were shut due to the conflict. Local authorities have, however, said they are delivering assistance to villagers through another route in Charkent district.

This is as the National Security Council had reported widespread scourge of Taliban violence this week. Militants had killed 24 civilians over the past week, according to NSC spokesman Javid Faisal.

In Sholgara district, Taliban rebels had kidnapped 8 villagers and shot them dead, local officials said.

In another rebel ambush on a security outpost in Uruzgan’s Trinkot city, 5 policemen were killed, according to governor’s spokesman Zalgay Ebadi.

An intensified war coalesces with a marathon peace process and the excruciating task of getting the militant Taliban in the negotiating table. Fears rise of an unabated spate of Taliban hostility and terrorist attacks amid an exchange of prisoners between the government and the Taliban.

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