AP NEWS

The Latest: Afghan officials say 20 troops killed by Taliban

April 9, 2019

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the situation in Afghanistan (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Afghan officials say the Taliban have stormed army checkpoints in southern Kandahar province near the Pakistani border overnight, killing 20 troops.

Mohammad Yousof Younosi, a provincial council member in Kandahar, said Tuesday that eight other security forces were wounded in Monday night’s attack in Shorabak district.

An official from the provincial governor’s office, who was not authorized to speak with the media, also confirmed the attack and said there were casualties among the Afghan forces, but couldn’t provide exact figures.

Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack and said their fighters also seized weapons and ammunition.

—Rahim Faiez in Kabul, Afghanistan;

___

12:10 p.m.

An Afghan official says at least five members of the country’s security forces were killed when the Taliban attacked a joint army and police base in northern Sari Pul province.

Zabihullah Amani, the provincial governor’s spokesman, says the Monday night attack in Sangcharak district also wounded seven other troops.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban. Amani says four insurgents were also killed in the ensuing clashes.

Earlier, around noon on Monday, an Afghan army officer shot and killed two of his fellow soldiers and later fled to join the Taliban.

Sayed Hashim Bayan, the provincial police chief’s spokesman, says the shooter seized a Humvee along with some ammunition before making his getaway.

The Taliban praised the soldier’s actions and confirmed he joined their ranks in Dari Suf district.