HERAT: Taliban militants attacked Afghan security posts in the western province of Herat on Thursday, killing nine soldiers and one police officer, a district governor said on Friday.

The attack occurred in Herat’s Shindand district, said the district’s governor, Shukrullah Shaker. Four people were wounded, he said.

The Taliban, seeking to restore strict Islamic rule after their 2001 defeat by US-led troops, did not immediately comment.

The attack happened just days after a blast in Shindand killed at least six people, including four children.Fighting in Afghanistan traditionally increases in the spring when warmer weather melts snow blocking mountain passes, increasing the mobility of the insurgents.

Shukrullah said a roadside mine and a rocket hit a car carrying police reinforcements sent to the scene, killing the police commander.

There were also fatalities among the Taliban attackers, Shaker said, but it was not clear how many. He blamed the Taliban for the attack although no militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault.

Also overnight, the Taliban attacked several police posts in eastern Paktia province, in the provincial capital of Gardez, leaving at least three policemen dead, said Gul Agha Roohani, the province’s police chief.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in Paktia in a text message sent to the media.

On Thursday morning, the Taliban stormed a government compound in the central province of Ghazni, triggering an hours-long gunbattle that killed 15, including three top local officials.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2018

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