14 Afghans Die in Separate Attacks 06/06 09:47
Two separate militant attacks killed 14 Afghan security personnel on
Saturday in the northeastern Badakhshan province and the capital of Kabul,
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Two separate militant attacks killed 14 Afghan
security personnel on Saturday in the northeastern Badakhshan province and the
capital of Kabul, officials said.
A roadside bomb killed 11 security force members in Badakhshan when it tore
through a security vehicle responding to attacks on checkpoints in Khash
district. Sanaullah Rohani, spokesman for Badakhshan's provincial police chief,
said a local commander was among the dead, and that four militants were killed
in the fighting.
An hour-long gunbattle also erupted in Kabul's Gul Dara district when
insurgents attacked a police checkpoint, killing three police officers, said
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.
Both Afghan officials said the Taliban had carried out the attacks, although
no one immediately claimed responsibility.
The Taliban on Saturday claimed an attack a day earlier that killed 10
policemen in the southern Zabul province. Afghan government officials said the
Taliban ambushed an Afghan police convoy on Friday after setting off a roadside
U.S. forces had carried out two sets of airstrikes Friday against the
Taliban in western and southern Afghanistan. These were the first U.S. strikes
following a brief cease-fire declared by the insurgents for a major Muslim
holiday last month.
Since the signing of a U.S.-Taliban peace agreement at the end of February,
U.S. forces have only once before announced a strike against the Taliban, in
defense of Afghan forces.
The uptick in fighting comes as U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad embarked
on a new round of diplomatic trips to Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan,
according to a U.S. State Department statement Friday.
The U.S.-Taliban agreement was signed to allow American soldiers to return
home, ending America's longest military engagement.
The deal also calls for Afghans in Kabul and the Taliban to start
negotiations to decide the country's future. Those negotiations have been
delayed because of political feuding between Afghanistan's President Ashraf
Ghani and his rival in last year's presidential polls, Abdullah Abdullah.