January 24, 2020

Taliban attacks on Afghanistan forces leave at least 17 dead

At least 17 security force members have been killed in two Afghan provinces over the past 48 hours, officials said on Thursday.

At least 11 security force personnel were killed in two separate Taliban attacks on a checkpoint and a security force convoy on the outskirts of the provincial capital of northern Baghlan province on Wednesday evening, provincial council member Zarif Zarif told dpa.

In southern Kandahar, at least six Afghan army soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in Taliban attacks on a base and a nearby checkpoint on Tuesday night. The militants had dug a tunnel into the base, provincial council member Ahmad Shah Khan said.

Taliban militants have ramped up their attacks on Afghan security forces and government facilities in recent months, while in the meantime the Afghan security forces together with US troops have increased operations in particular against Taliban field commanders.

Recently US media reported that the administration is mulling a major troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday said that Russia, Pakistan and India should be intervening in Afghanistan, not the US.

“Why are we there 6,000 miles away?” President Trump said. Some 14,000 US troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

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