Amid Moscow Talks, Afghan Officials Claim Attacks By Taliban

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Afghan officials claimed that Taliban attacks have killed at least ten soldiers and seven policemen.

Written By Associated Press Television News | Mumbai | Updated On:

Afghan officials claimed that Taliban attacks have killed at least ten soldiers and seven policemen.

In northern Takhar province, provincial police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir says the Taliban targeted an army outpost in Khwaja Ghar district early on Friday, triggering an hours-long gun battle before they were repulsed.

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Bashir says at least 10 soldiers were killed and 12 were wounded. He says the Taliban suffered "heavy casualties" but did not elaborate.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for that attack.

In western Farah province, the Taliban targeted police forces in the provincial capital, Farah city, late on Thursday. Provincial council member, Abdul Samad Salehi, says seven policemen died and three were wounded there.

The Taliban have been staging near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces and now hold nearly half of the country. 

Meanwhile, to address the atrocities of a war-torn Afghanistan, Moscow is hosting a talk on Friday, November 9.  Russian Ministry has sent an invitation to 12 other countries including Pakistan, Iran, China, the United States, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 

In a statement posted on social media, the Taliban said it would dispatch "high-ranking" representatives from its political office in Qatar.

"This conference is not about negotiating with any particular side, rather it is a conference about holding comprehensive discussions on finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary and ending the American occupation," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.

The Taliban last month appointed five former Guantanamo Bay detainees, who had been swapped for US soldier Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, to its political office. They have the authorisation to "talk about peace", a senior Taliban official told AFP.

The confirmation comes a day after Afghanistan's High Peace Council, a government body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the militants, said it would send a delegation. Moscow has also invited representatives from the US as well as India, Iran, China, Pakistan and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Newly-appointed US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been trying to convince the Taliban to agree to negotiate an end to the war and there are fears the Russian meeting could derail those efforts.

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A US government watchdog last week said Kabul's control of Afghanistan had slipped in recent months as local security forces suffered record casualties while making minimal or no progress against the Taliban. 

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