Hawzah News Agency (Kabul, Afghanistan) - Fighting reportedly raged in four provinces overnight on Monday, leaving as many as 60 Afghan forces and dozens of militants dead.
Sar-e Pul’s provincial Governor Zahir Wahdat told reporters on Monday that Taliban militants had seized a checkpoint in a district near the provincial capital of the same name and set it ablaze, killing at least 17 security forces.
He added that air support had been called in. Nearly 39 Taliban militants were killed and 14 injured in those strikes, he said.
“The fighting is still ongoing near the city and the central government is going to send more reinforcements soon,” Wahdat added.
The provincial police chief, Abdul Qayom Baqizoy, said Sar-e Pul City had been threatened by the militants after they seized a military base in the province, warning of a “disaster” if reinforcements were not sent.
Baqizoy compared the threat to the Taliban’s recent raid on the provincial capital of Ghazni. Taliban last month briefly seized the major city of Ghazni, located just two hours from the capital Kabul.
In neighboring Jawzjan Province, hundreds of Taliban militants stormed Kham Ab district center, bordering Turkmenistan, killing at least eight security forces and seizing control of government headquarters, according to provincial deputy police chief Abdul Hafeez Khashi. Thirteen security personnel were reportedly wounded in that attack.
Elsewhere in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban killed at least 19 police officers and injured around 20 others in attacks on several police posts in Kunduz, said Dasht-e-Archi district chief Nasruddin Saadi.
Northern Afghanistan police spokesman Sarwar Hussaini also said that Taliban militants had raided two police checkpoints in the Dara-e-Suf district of Samangan Province, killing 14 officers.
The Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 following a US-led invasion. That war, which continues to this day, has failed to bring stability to the country despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces.
The militants have recently stepped up their attacks in Afghanistan. While they have rejected an offer of talks from the Afghan government, they have been holding negotiations with the United States.