Taliban attack kills five policemen in eastern Afghanistan

GHAZNI (AFP): Five policemen were killed and eight others injured after Taliban militants attacked security checkpoints in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan Friday night, Chinese media reported, citing a police official.

“Over 100 armed militants attacked three police checkpoints in Dasht-e-Qarabagh locality overnight, sparking a heavy clash, which [was] repelled by police forces. But the engagement left five police personnel dead and injured eight others,” Gen. Mohammad Zaman told Xinhua news agency.

One checkpoint was destroyed during the attack, the police chief said, adding that “several militants were also killed and wounded during the gun battle.”

The attack comes as the Afghan government considers a plan to arm 20,000 civilians to fight the Taliban and other insurgent groups which have gained ground since US-led NATO combat troops left in 2014.

Afghan security forces have been struggling to beat back a resurgent Taliban, which last month vowed to make Afghanistan a “graveyard” for foreign forces after US President Donald Trump made an open-ended commitment to keep American boots on the ground.