Afghan forces repel Taliban attack, 27 militants dead

Afghan security forces have repelled an overnight attack by Taliban on two districts in Kunduz province, killing at least 27 militants and injuring 15 others, the police confirmed on Saturday.

One member of the security forces was also killed in the operation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Heavy fighting started when hundreds of heavily armed Taliban militants stormed Khan Abad district, 25 km east of provincial capital Kunduz city and neighbouring Ali Abad district, 15 km south of the city, the police said in a statement.

“The security forces repelled the militants from Ali Abad and efforts are underway to clear Khan Abad from the enemies,” the statement said.

Sporadic clashes continued on Saturday morning in Khan Abad as the militants were using civilian properties as shields during the counter-attack, deputy district chief Qudratullah Safi told Xinhua.

“The militants tried to take control of Khan Abad as they advanced to the central areas of the district early Saturday when security forces were responding to the assailants,” he said.

Since the official withdrawal of the US and other NATO troops in Afghanistan on May 1, the Taliban have intensified attacks on provincial capitals, districts, bases and checkpoints.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have been displaced in the past few weeks.

The withdrawal of international troops is due to be completed by September 11 at the latest.