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Taliban kill 20 Afghan troops near Iran border

6 November 2018 15:00

At least 20 Afghan soldiers have been killed in an attack by Taliban militants against an outpost in Afghanistan’s western Farah Province.

Local officials said the militants attacked the border post — manned by nearly 50 Afghan government soldiers — at the early hours of Tuesday.

A senior military officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said at least 20 troops were confirmed to have been killed, several had been injured, and the others were missing.

“Hours after the attack, we lost contact with the base and we still do not know the whereabouts of the remaining soldiers,” the officer added.

The Taliban took responsibility for the assault, claiming that it had taken control of the base, killed 30 soldiers, and captured weapons and ammunition.

Farah, which borders Iran, has gained more significance for Taliban as the government plans to build a multi-billion-dollar pipeline in the province. The project also involves Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and India. The province has been the scene of several high-profile attacks in the recent past.

The Taliban threatened to seize the provincial capital in May.

On Monday, the militant group seized control of a key security post outside the central city of Ghazni, leaving 13 government forces dead.

Taliban seize key Ghazni post, kill Afghan forces

The militants have seized control of an important security post outside the central Afghan city of Ghazni, killing more than a dozen government forces there.

Afghan people still face insecurity 17 years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

Taliban violence against election-related centers at record high: UN

Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) said a record number of civilian casualties had been caused by attacks by the Taliban militant group against the Afghan parliamentary election-related centers in October.

The UN said in a report on Tuesday that the Taliban attacks on election day, October 20, and subsequent days — when delayed polling took place — resulted in at least 435 civilian casualties, including 56 deaths and 379 injuries.

According to the report, the toll was higher than the figures for the four previous elections.

The UN stressed that there had been “a deliberate campaign intended to disrupt and undermine the electoral process.”

Taliban terrorists had called on Afghans to boycott the long-delayed parliamentary elections across the country and vowed to disrupt the voting.

Several attacks also targeted voter registration centers ahead of the election, some claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.

According to the UN, attacks by anti-government militants, mostly the Taliban, were conducted with rockets, grenades, and mortars as well as improvised explosive devices.

Referring to a campaign of threats, intimidation, and harassment, including abductions, that preceded the vote, the UN said, “The Taliban’s actions forced many ordinary Afghans to choose between exercising their right to participate in the political process and risking their own safety.”

The results of the parliamentary election have not been announced yet, with votes are still being counted.

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