At least 37 Afghan police officers were killed in over-night assaults by the Taliban militants on security check points in northern Takhar province, said an official on Thursday.
According to the provincial council chairman, Wafiullah Ameen, the Taliban stormed the security check posts in the restive and remote Ishkimish district late Wednesday night. He told Anadolu Agency that 24 members of the Afghan National Civil Order Police and 13 members of the Afghan National Police got killed in the assault.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said in a social media post that two bases and two check posts have been overrun in the district sharing border with neighboring Kunduz province.
This is a relatively higher death toll of the Afghan forces in one attack amid evident surge in the violence across the country in recent days as the Taliban prepare for next round of talks with the U.S. in Doha, Qatar.
Meanwhile, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is in an unannounced visit in the war-torn country, stressed the Afghan government and coalition forces are working to support the negotiations process and that have not changed the military mission in the country.
“Part of the problem is that the Taliban are not a monolithic entity, but rather a group of groups with different degrees of ideological purity and different goals. Some Taliban groups may work with the government. Others take a more hardline approach. Some want all foreign troops out immediately. Others will take a conditions-based approach,” he said, according to a statement from the Pentagon.
Dunford arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday for consultations with the U.S., NATO and Afghan officials.