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Xinhua
January 11, 2019

30 killed in Afghanistan as warring sides step up offensive

National

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Xinhua
January 11, 2019

KABUL: At least 30 combatants from both the government security forces and Taliban were killed since early Thursday as the warring sides intensified attacks against each other in insurgency-battered Afghanistan, officials said.

In a coordinated offensive, Taliban fighters stormed security checkpoints in Sitoot area of Faizabad district in the northern Jawzjan province early Thursday, triggering gun battles and leaving four security personnel dead and five others injured, deputy provincial governor Abdul Rahman Mahmoudi said.

According to Mahmoudi, Taliban also suffered casualties, but he did not give a figure.

Similarly, the government forces launched cleanup operations in Pashtunkot district of Faryab province bordering Jawzjan at 1:00am local time Thursday, killing three militants and injuring five others. The government forces also expelled the militants from several villages, said an army statement on Thursday.

Two bastions of the insurgents were also destroyed in the area, the statement said.

Clash between government forces and the Taliban in Khawja Ghar district of the northern Takhar province also left 18 dead from both sides, district governor Mohammad Omar said. The clash, according to the official, erupted at 2:00am local time when the militants attacked security checkpoints in Gortepa area and lasted for hours, leaving 10 militants and eight security personnel dead.

Five more militants were reported killed in a clash that broke out in Qala-e-Zal district of the northern Kunduz province on Thursday, army spokesman in the province Abdul Hadi Jamal confirmed.

Both the government and the Taliban, according to local observers, have intensified operations to gain an upper hand at possible peace talks between the two sides expected to take place in the coming months.