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Nineteen Pro-Government Forces Killed In Afghan Attacks

FILE: Afghan security forces in Takhar Province in November 2015.

KABUL -- Afghan officials say 19 pro-government forces have been killed in Taliban attacks in the northern province of Takhar.

The Taliban militants attacked local forces operating under the command of the Afghan National Army in Khwaja Ghar district from several directions overnight, district chief Mohammad Omar said on April 20.

Omar said the fighting continued until early in the morning.

The Defense Ministry said the attacks had been repulsed and that the Taliban had suffered casualties.

The Taliban did not immediately comment on the assaults.

Fighting has continued across Afghanistan after the Taliban inked a deal with the United States in Doha, Qatar, in late February.

The agreement was intended to pave the way for prisoner exchanges between the militant group and the government in Kabul -- which have already begun -- and potential peace talks among Afghans.

With reporting by dpa