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18 policemen die in Taliban attacks


Kabul   –       At least 18 policemen have been killed across two provinces of Afghanistan south of the capital Kabul in the past 12 hours, police, other officials said on Tuesday.

At least 14, including two local policemen, were killed in Qiagh valley of Ghazni province on Monday night after Taliban attacked a series of checkposts.

Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, a provincial council member and another council member confirmed that there were also injuries among the policemen but did not provide a number.

“The attack set off a firefight that lasted over two hours.’’

In neighbouring Logar province, there were conflicting reports over the deaths of at least four policemen in Azra district on Monday night.

Provincial council member Hasibullah Stanakzai told dpa that an airstrike mistakenly hit police as they were fighting a Taliban advance on the district centre.

Stanakzai said around 300 Taliban had launched a coordinated attack on the district centre from several directions late Monday.

He said that extra security personnel and airstrikes managed to beat back the Taliban militants, “although fighting was ongoing in the outskirts’’.

Shamshad Larawi, a spokesman for the Logar governor, denied however that there had been a Taliban attack.

He said that a large-scale offensive by Afghan security forces was under way and it had faced resistance from the Taliban.

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