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Afghan Security Forces Suffer 'Heavy Casualties' In Fresh Clashes With Taliban

Afghan soldiers have been battling an uptick in Taliban attacks in recent months. (file photo)

At least 14 members of the Afghan security forces have been killed and another 18 wounded in a Taliban attack in Qaisar district of the northern province of Faryab, local officials said on June 6.

The militants “have also taken 37 security force members as captive,” said Nader Saeedi, a member of the provincial council.

Some officials put the death toll at about 30, saying the district police commander was among those killed.

The militants attacked the Qaisar police headquarters overnight, detonating a car bomb at the gate of the building, several officials confirmed.

Saeedi told the Tolo news agency that more than 30 security force members were still “under siege by the Taliban." “They will also be taken captive by the Taliban if reinforcements are not deployed in the area,” he warned.

Officials said the district was on the verge of collapse on June 6 as heavy clashes continued around the district center and the village of Kohi -- the only areas still controlled by the government.

The clashes in Faryab come a day after the Taliban captured the Doab district in the eastern province of Nuristan, adding to the militant group's recent military gains.

Provincial councilor Saidullah Nuristani said the Taliban had blocked all the supply routes to Doab, forcing the government forces to evacuate the district after being unable to receive any food supplies or ammunition from the central government for nearly a month.

On June 4, the Taliban captured two districts in the southern Zabul and Uruzgan provinces.

Fighting between government forces and militants continues across Afghanistan as the U.S. and NATO continue their final withdrawal of the remaining 2,500-3,500 American soldiers and 7,000 allied forces. The last of the troops are scheduled to be gone by September 11 at the latest.

Based on reporting by dpa and