May 28, 2020 15:24 UTC
  • At least 14 Afghan militants killed in separate Taliban attacks: Officials

At least 14 members of Afghanistan’s security forces have been killed in an attack blamed on the Taliban, officials say, the first deadly assaults since a three-day ceasefire between the government and the militants ended.

According to Press TV, the incident occurred at a checkpoint in the East-Central Province of Parwan on Tuesday, said Waheeda Shahkar, a spokeswoman to the provincial governor, adding, “The Taliban have also suffered casualties.”

According to District Police Chief Hossein Shah, Taliban militants set fire to the checkpoint, claiming the lives of five security forces. Two more were also shot dead, he added.

Additionally on Tuesday, Taliban militants launched an attack on a police post, killing seven policemen in the western city of Farah, said Provincial Police Spokesman Mohibullah Mohib. "Eight Taliban fighters were also killed in the clash,” he added.

The Taliban group, however, has no yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were the first deadly ones that Afghan officials have blamed on the militants since a bilateral three-day truce ended on Tuesday night.

Figures by Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission show civilian casualties fell by 80 percent during the temporary ceasefire, which was held over the Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

A day earlier, Afghan security forces carried out airstrikes on positions held by suspected “militants” in the south of the country, killing 18 of them, police said.

The unexpected ceasefire offer by the Taliban and a brief lull in violence had raised hopes that stalled peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government could begin soon.

Kabul responded to the ceasefire by releasing some 1,000 Taliban inmates this week, and plans to further free an equal number of prisoners in the coming days.

The militant group, for its part, has said that it plans to releases another group of government prisoners. The Taliban have so far freed around 300 Afghan security force personnel.