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Seven Afghan Soldiers Killed In Taliban Attack

FILE: Afghan National Army soldiers in the northren Balk province in April 2017.

At least seven Afghan soldiers have been killed in a militant attack on an army checkpoint in the northern province of Balkh, the country’s Defense Ministry said.

Six other members of the security forces -- three soldiers and three intelligence operatives -- were wounded in the “enemy” attack in Balkh’s Dawlat Abad district on December 24, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the checkpoint was manned by both the Afghan Army and the National Directorate of Security.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred around 4:30 a.m. local time.

Taliban militants continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as government officials -- even as the group holds peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with negotiating an end to the military conflict in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP,