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18 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban attack

Attack comes as government forces observe 2nd day of ceasefire announced by president

18 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban attack

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan

Groups of the Taliban, including Central Asian militants, stormed check posts in Afghanistan's northern Badakhshan province bordering Tajikistan, killing at least 18 security personnel, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Mohammad Razaq, commander of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) in the province, informed Anadolu Agency the Taliban attacked the check posts in Jurm district at around 2.00 a.m. (0930 GMT Tuesday) and fighting continued for up to five hours.

He confirmed 18 security forces were killed and three wounded, while eight Tajik militants were killed by the security forces.

A Taliban spokesman, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, claimed responsibility for the attack in a series of tweets.

This comes as the Afghan forces are observing a second day of ceasefire in line with directives issued by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani last week in the hope to revive the stalled peace process.

The Taliban had responded with announcement of a similar ceasefire for three days of the Muslim holy festival of Eid.

Afghanistan is expected to celebrate Eid on June 15-17, depending on the lunar calendar.

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