Taliban seize district in Afghanistan's Ghazni province

Afghan policemen keep watch during a battle with the Taliban

Afghan policemen keep watch during a battle with the Taliban

Quoting provincial police statement, the report said that the incident happened at about 2:00 am local time after Taliban insurgents attacked the district governor's compound and police check posts.

Earlier on Thursday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported an increase in the number of civilian casualties from Taliban attacks as well as Afghan and foreign troops in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in Paktia in a text message sent to the media. The province is reportedly under Taliban control.

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Deputy provincial police chief Ramazan Ali Mohsini said among those killed were Ali Dost Shams, the district governor, seven police officers, and five members of the National Directorate of Security, the country's main intelligence agency. Rahmani said the attackers planted mines to stop reinforcements from coming to help the government forces fend off the attack. The district centre, however, is still in government hands.

At least 13 Afghan security forces have been killed in suspected Taliban attacks in western Herat Province, officials say.

Confirming the report, Shindand District Governor Shukrullah Shaker said the attack took place in Larzanak area of the district.

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Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser, said Iran has "an open issue with us" over the air base strike. Seven Iranian military personnel were killed at the T-4 facility, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported.

The province of Ghazni is located south of Kabul lying along a key route.

The district governor, Shukrullah Shaker, said a roadside mine and a rocket hit a auto carrying police reinforcements sent to the scene, killing the police commander. Travel by road between Kabul and Kandahar province, a traditional Taliban heartland, is considered risky because of large swaths are now under Taliban control.

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Three Army jawans and four civilians were also killed in the incident. "The slain Armyman was identified as Sepoy S Gunakar Roy". Another injured person, identified as 30-year-old Aijaz Palla, later succumbed in a hospital, a health official said.

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