20 cops killed in Tal­iban am­bush

New Straits Times - - World -

KAN­DA­HAR (Afghanistan): At least 20 Afghan po­lice­men were killed in Tal­iban am­bushes in south cen­tral Afghanistan, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day, as se­cu­rity forces sought to dis­lodge in­sur­gents in mul­ti­ple dis­tricts.

Fight­ing is on­go­ing in Zabul prov­ince, where the po­lice were at­tacked in Shah Joi dis­trict, pro­vin­cial gover­nor Bis­mul­lah Afghan­mal said, adding that the Tal­iban had am­bushed po­lice in the ar­eas of Chino and Ghu­lam Ra­bat.

“The re­port we have in­di­cates that 20 po­lice­men are martyred and 10 others are wounded. The num­ber may in­crease,” Afghan­mal said.

Dozens of Tal­iban, who have been wag­ing a 16-year-long in­sur­gency against the Western­backed gov­ern­ment in Kabul, were also re­ported killed and wounded, he said.

Re­in­force­ments sent to the area where the po­lice had been am­bushed were also at­tacked, said Gul Is­lam Seyal, a spokesman for the Zabul gover­nor.

Fight­ing was also on­go­ing in Zabul’s Dai Chopan dis­trict, but the ex­tent of ca­su­al­ties was un­known, Afghan­mal said.

In neigh­bour­ing Ghazni prov­ince, Tal­iban fighters launched a three-pronged at­tack on parts of the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal on Fri­day, driv­ing a Humvee packed with ex­plo­sives into the en­trance of a dis­trict gover­nor’s com­pound dur­ing the as­sault.

Sep­a­rately yes­ter­day, Tal­iban claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for a at­tack on Satur­day on a bank in Pak­tia prov­ince, which left at least six peo­ple dead, in­clud­ing three at­tack­ers. Reuters

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