57 Afghan forces killed in Taliban attacks

Taliban attacks on police and security forces in Afghanistan have left 57 dead.
Taliban attacks on police and security forces in Afghanistan have left 57 dead.

Taliban militants have seized control of multiple districts and Afghan military outposts, killing 57 security personnel and shifting the balance of control in the ongoing civil war.

After two days of intense fighting, clashes in Kham Ab in Afghanistan's northern Jawzjan province left eight security personnel dead and wounded at least three of others, Jawzjan police intelligence head Hafiz Khashi said.

Meanwhile, Taliban militants seized control of several military bases and police checkpoints in the northern city of Sar-e-Pul, capital of the province of the same name. At least 17 soldiers were killed in the attacks, which started shortly after midnight, provincial council member Asif Sadiqi said.

A number of security personnel were taken hostage by the Taliban, while others fled to other bases in Sar-e-Pul's city centre, another provincial council member, Reza Alimzada, said.

Afghan security forces also suffered heavy causalities in northern Kunduz as Taliban attacked police checkpoints in Dasht-e-Archi district. The clashes left 16 security forces dead, provincial council member Safiullah Amiri said.

At least 20 others were wounded in the battles, according to councillor Mawlawi Abdullah.

A simultaneous attack on police checkpoints in the lower Dar-e-Suf district of northern Samangan province killed at least 14 policemen, provincial council member Alim Sadat said. The battles started shortly after midnight and left six others wounded, according to the provincial council member, Masooma Hassani.

The attacks on these provinces could be one of the deadliest Taliban attacks in recent months.

The Taliban have shifted their focus in recent months to heavy attacks on military bases, checkpoints and resupply convoys of the Afghan security forces.

According to military sources, the insurgents control around 14 per cent of Afghanistan's districts; another 30 per cent are contested.

Australian Associated Press