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19 killed in Taliban attacks in two Afghan provinces

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(Xinhua/Abdul Aziz Safdari)

KABUL (Xinhua) – At least 18 security force members and one civilian were killed in Taliban militants’ attacks in two Afghan provinces on Sunday night, authorities said on Monday.

In one incident, 12 policemen and one civilian were killed and five police were wounded after militants stormed a district police chief’s house in Khwaja Ghar district of northern Takhar province, District Chief Mohammad Omar told Xinhua.

“The initial information found eight Taliban militants were also killed during the clashes following an attack on police chief Mohammad Ishaq’s house,” Omar added.

He said the clashes erupted near the district’s police headquarters when a wedding ceremony was held in the targeted compound in the province, 245 km north of Kabul.

In southern Zabul province, six Afghan army soldiers were killed after militants stormed an army checkpoint in Arghandab district of Zabul, 340 km south of Kabul, local media 1 TV News reported, quoting a Defense Ministry source.

The two provinces have been the scene of clashes for long.

Militants in Afghanistan have intensified their activities in the last couple of days even after a peace deal was signed between the United States and the Taliban in Doha and a joint declaration was issued by the US side and the Afghan government in late February.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Afghanistan in mid February, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has frequently called on the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire to facilitate peace talks and most importantly the fight against the COVID-19, but clashes continued  in the conflict-ravaged nation.

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