Taliban kill 28 Afghan soldiers during cease-fire

Tuesday was 8th and last day of unilateral government cease-fire
KABUL, Afghanistan: Over 50 Taliban rebels and 28 Afghan security forces were killed in fresh spate of violence on the last day of the government’s unilateral cease-fire, officials and local media confirmed on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Defense has confirmed 11 members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) were killed and nine others wounded when armed rebels stormed checkposts in the northwestern Badghis province Tuesday night.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh told Anadolu Agency the Taliban had attacked soldiers in the Bala Murghab district.
“Our soldiers were observing the cease-fire with discipline when the Taliban attacked them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the provincial administration has said that 10 soldiers were killed in the Taliban’s initial assault. Twenty more were killed in two armored vehicles while on the way toward the site of the clashes.
At least 53 Taliban rebels were also killed in the clashes, the Afghan National Police (ANP) headquarters in the province said in a statement.
Separately, the local Azadi radio reported that 17 members of the security forces were killed in the western Farah province bordering Iran in coordinated Taliban assaults on the Bala Balook and Lash wa Juwayn districts Tuesday night.
Tuesday was the eighth and last day of the extended cease-fire put in place by the government. The Taliban had already resumed their offensives after three days of cease-fire on Monday.
Tuesday evening, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani told the participants of an historic peace march that the government was willing to extend the cease-fire for a year if the Taliban were ready for talks.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, has rejected the “propaganda by the pro-government media” that a number of Taliban rebels had shunned violence for good after the Eid cease-fire.–AA

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