By Shadi Khan Saif
At least 20 policemen were killed in western Farah province bordering Iran during coordinated raids by the Taliban Monday night, an official said on Tuesday.
Dadullah Qaneh, member of the provincial assembly, told Anadolu Agency police checkpoints came under attack on the outskirts of provincial capital Farah City and in Bala Balook district.
Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on social media. Spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi put the death toll at 26 policemen dead and added that 10 other security personnel had been taken hostage.
The provincial government, however, said the Taliban attack had been thwarted and at least 13 militants had been killed in the late night attacks that continued until Tuesday morning.
Naser Mahri, regional governor’s spokesman, also rejected Taliban’s claim about abduction of policemen.
Earlier this month, around 50 Italian troops had arrived in Farah province on the pretext of improving the security situation.
In a separate development, a second mass grave of 10 civilians killed by pro-Daesh militants was found Tuesday in eastern Nangarharhar province bordering Pakistan.
On Monday, the first mass grave was found in the same Achin district of the province from which bodies of nine civilians killed by the pro-Daesh militants were recovered.