Over 2 dozen Afghan troops killed amid undeclared truce, prisoners swap

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DM Monitoring

KABUL: At least 28 security personnel have been confirmed dead in the militancy-battered Afghanistan since Wednesday amid unofficial ceasefire and prisoners swap between government and the Taliban outfit, officials said on Friday. In the latest violent incidents, the Taliban insurgents stormed a border checkpoint in the eastern Paktia province, killing 14 troopers, the defense ministry said in a statement released on Friday.
In the statement the defense ministry accused the Taliban group of violating the truce, saying, “Taliban violated the ceasefire last night and attacked a frontier checkpoint in Dand-e-Patan district, Paktia province, killing 14 security personnel and wounding three others.”
According to the statement, the attacking Taliban militants fled away after suffering huge casualties. Similarly, the Taliban attack on security checkpoints in Siagurd district of the relatively peaceful Parwan province late Wednesday night claimed the lives of seven security men, spokesperson for provincial government Wahida Shahkar confirmed.
She also asserted that the militants took away two more security personnel to unknown location. Mohibullah Mohib, the spokesman for police in the western Farah province, has also accused the Taliban group of attacking a checkpoint outside Farah city, the capital of western Farah province and killing seven police on Wednesday night.
According to Mohib, the Taliban also captured three injured police and took to unknown location. The Taliban group which observed a three-day ceasefire on account of Eid al-Fitr started on Sunday and ended on Tuesday to enable Afghans celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month Ramadan has yet to make comment.
However, the militant group, in counter-accusation, has accused the government air force of targeting residential area in the southern Zabul province and killing civilians, a claim rejected by officials as baseless.
Welcoming the Taliban’s three-day truce announced on account of Eid al-fitr, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced to set free 2,000 Taliban prisoners and since then has released 1,000 inmates over the past few days, bringing the number of released prisoners to more than 2,000 since late March, while Taliban has freed nearly 350 government men.
A Taliban five-member delegation, according to government sources, is currently in Kabul to discuss the release of more detainees.
Prisoners swap is part of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal inked in Doha on Feb. 29 to facilitate the intra-Afghan dialogue and pave the way for the pull out of the foreign forces from Afghanistan.–Agencies