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Afghan forces killed in first ‘Taliban attack’ since end of ceasefire

Afghan forces killed in first ‘Taliban attack’ since end of ceasefire

AFP
Kabul
Seven members of the Afghan security forces were killed Thursday in an attack officials blamed on the Taliban, the first deadly assault since the end of a three-day ceasefire.
The temporary truce ended on Tuesday but a lull in the country’s grinding violence has largely held, raising hopes that the militants and Kabul could soon start much-delayed peace talks.
Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint in Parwan, north of the capital, early Thursday, said Waheeda Shahkar, spokeswoman to the provincial governor.
“The Taliban have also suffered casualties,” Shahkar told AFP, saying seven members of the Afghan forces died.
District police chief Hussain Shah said Taliban fighters set fire to the checkpoint, killing five security force personnel. Two more were shot dead.
The Taliban have not commented.
It is the first attack that Afghan officials have blamed on the Taliban since the end of the surprise ceasefire offered by the militants and extending over the Eid al-Fitr festival.
Afghan security forces, however, carried out air strikes in the south on Wednesday that police said had killed 18 “militants”.
According to Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission, civilian casualties fell by 80 percent during the temporary truce.

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