- The ministry said that the forces repulsed the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the Taliban.
- Earlier in the week, the militant group killed 14 Afghan soldiers in Parwan and Farah provinces.
- The attack comes a few days after the end of a temporary cease-fire, declared due to the Eid al-Fitr holiday, on Tuesday.
At least 14 military personnel have been killed, and several others injured in Paktia province in Afghanistan. The country’s defense ministry said that the Taliban fighters attacked an army checkpoint in Paktia’s Dand-e-Patan, in the eastern part of the country, which borders Pakistan.
The ministry said that the forces repulsed the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the Taliban. The militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a defensive action. The Taliban confirmed that two of its fighters were wounded in the attack, adding that it captured one Afghan security officer.
The attack comes a few days after the end of a temporary cease-fire, declared due to the Eid al-Fitr holiday. It ended on Tuesday. The Taliban has accused the government of carrying out an airstrike that killed several civilians. However, the government said the target for the airstrike was the Taliban fighters.
Earlier in the week, the militant group killed 14 Afghan soldiers in Parwan and Farah provinces. The group has carried out a series retaliatory attacks, targeting the security personnel. after President Ashraf Ghani ordered for the resumption of offensive attacks on militant groups in the country. The president’s order came early this month, just a day after two attacks that claimed left dozens dead, including two infants.
The Taliban on Thursday announced that a team of five members of the militant group are in the country’s capital, Kabul, to discuss the release of Taliban fighters from prison. The government has so far released 2,000 Taliban prisoners since the signing of a peace deal on February 29. The militant group has freed 347 captives.
The peace deal signed between the Unites States and the Taliban requires the Afghan government is to release 5,000 insurgents. In exchange, 1,000 Afghan soldiers and police captured by the militant group will be freed. The agreement was signed so as to pave the way for US troops to leave the country after the long military engagement.
In the deal, the US troops are supposed to leave the country by mid-2021. The US has already begun withdrawal of its troops. The deal also gives a way for the Afghan government and the Taliban to start negotiations for the best interests of the country.
The talks between the militant group and the government have delayed because of the political rivalry between the two presidential candidates after last year’s elections. However, the two leaders reached an agreement earlier in the month. The agreement between the two leaders and the release of the prisoners is seen as a major step in the commencement of the talks.
Since the peace deal was signed in February, the Taliban had ceased from attacking US and NATO troops, but had continued to attack government security forces. The US has been trying to get the militant group and the government to start negotiation but the efforts have been hampered by squabbles among the two groups.
According to the spokesperson of the National Security Council, nearly 300 people have been killed by Taliban while Afghan forces have killed around 249 Taliban militants since the offensive began.