13 soldiers killed in Badghis, clashes ongoing

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: At least 13 members of the Afghan security forces were killed and 22 others were wounded in Taliban attack on security outposts in Bala Murghab district in Badghis province in the northwest of Afghanistan, sources confirmed on Thursday.

The sources said that the clashes started at 11pm on Wednesday night and that five or seven other security force members are missing after the clashes.

Militants’ attacks on a military base and police headquarters in Bala Murghab are still ongoing and the security forces are appealing for air support which has not been provided to them yet, soldiers from the frontline said.

Almost 500 troops are fighting an unknown number of Taliban militants in the district, said Abdul Aziz Beg, Head of Badghis Provincial Council. The police headquarters, the Army base and some other parts the city are vulnerable to threat by the Taliban, he claimed.

In the meantime, officials at the Ministry of Defence have said that the “forces have retreated from a number of the check posts to prevent the civilian’s casualties and clashes still ongoing.”

“Air support has been provided to the forces and the Taliban has suffered heavy casualties,” the officials said.

Sources said the residents of the district have been left their areas and that the Taliban militants are hidden in civilian houses.

Taliban in a statement claimed that they have taken the control a number of check posts in the district after Wednesday night’s attack.

Last time, the district came under Taliban attack early in March and was under siege for more than two weeks, leaving more than two dozens of security forces dead and almost 28 of them gone missing.

This comes as the conflicts have intensified in different parts of the country with the arrival of the spring season – which is deemed as a usual fighting season for insurgents fighting the Afghan government forces.

President Ashraf Ghani on April 2 approved the annual security plan which encompasses boosting security and fighting insurgents.  (TOLOnews)