Afghan clashes claim over 40 lives amid push for peace talks

DM Monitoring

KABUL: More than 40 fighters with the majority of them Taliban militants have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours elsewhere in the country as peace talks in Doha has faced stalemate, officials said Thursday.
In the latest wave of violent incident, the Taliban militants stormed Darqad district in the northern Takhar province but failed to gain ground and fled away after leaving five bodies behind, provincial government spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hajari said.
Blaming the armed group for increasing violent incidents amid peace talks in Doha, the official said that the Taliban fighters stormed security checkpoints around the headquarters of Darqad district but retreated after leaving five bodied and five more injured behind.
The security forces have cleared several villages from the insurgents around Takhar’s provincial capital Taluqan city since Wednesday.
A total of 20 militants have been killed in the western Ghor province since Thursday morning, army officer Mahmoud Andarabi said, while five security personnel were killed in the Taliban attack on government forces in Imam Sahib district of northern Kunduz province on Thursday, district governor Mahboubullah Sayedi admitted.
At least a dozen more militants have been killed in southern Kandahar, Helmand and the northern Sari Pul province over the past 24 hours, according to security officials.
The increase in Afghan fighting is taking place amid reported deadlock in the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha.
The intra-Afghan talks which begun on Sept. 12 in the Qatar capital has yet to make tangible progress.
Also, Eight militants have been confirmed dead as clash erupted in Khwaja Sabzposh district of Afghanistan’s northern Faryab province on Thursday, a provincial police statement released here said.
Taliban militants attacked security checkpoints in Anabig village of Khwaja Sabzposh district in the wee hours of Thursday and police returned fire killing eight insurgents on the spot and wounding five others, the statement said.
The militants fled away and one civilian villager sustained injury in the crossfire, the statement said, adding the security forces would continue to chase the insurgents. Taliban militants who are active in parts of Faryab province have yet to make comment.
Meanwhile, Five security personnel have been killed as Taliban militants attacked security checkpoints in Imam Sahib district of the northern Kunduz province on Thursday, district governor Mahboubullah Sayedi said.
Taliban militants, according to the official, attacked security checkpoints in Bakhmal Kucha area next to the district headquarters early morning, killing five security personnel and wounding three others.
The official said the militants had also suffered casualties without providing more details.
Meanwhile, a member of provincial council, Khalidin Hakimi confirmed that six security personnel including police and army soldiers had been killed and over a dozen others have either been injured or gone missing.
The Taliban outfit which has intensified activities amid the ongoing peace talks in Doha has yet to make comment.
Earlier, Afghan forces have killed 20 Taliban militants and injured 13 others in operations carried out in the western Ghor province on Thursday, a local army officer said.
“The operation was launched on Ghor-Kabul highway today morning and so far 20 rebels have been killed and 13 others injured,” Mahmoud Andarabi told Xinhua.
Several villages along the highway have also been cleared from the Taliban militants, he said.
The security forces have seized 40 motorbikes from the fleeing militants, Andarabi added. There has so far been no comment made by the Taliban militants on the casualties.