KABUL: At least 13 soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in fighting with Taliban insurgents at several security checkpoints in southern Afghanistan, a government official said on Thursday.

Daulat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence, said the fighting took place overnight in southern Kandahar province when Taliban fighters stormed the checkpoints and battles lasting for several hours ensued.

Waziri said the insurgents were driven back and 20 of their fighters killed. There was no immediate response from the Taliban.

Samim Khpolwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, confirmed the attack, saying the Taliban suffered heavy casualties.

Also on Thursday, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives at a security post in southern Helmand province killing three intelligence officials, a police spokesman said.

The attack also wounded four intelligence officials, said the spokesman, who gave his name only as Zaman. The provincial governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak, confirmed the attack.

The Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility, saying the explosion killed Tor Jan, intelligence director for the Washer district in Helmand.

In western Badghis province on Wednesday, Taliban fighters attacked security checkpoints, killing six security forces, said Anwar Ishaqzai, provincial governor. He said five others were wounded, while 16 Taliban militants were killed in the fight with government forces.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2017

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