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Taliban Kills 12 In Attack On Security Forces In Western Afghanistan

Afghan soldiers patrolling in the Ghorian district of Herat Province on December 10, 2020.

A group of Taliban militants has killed 12 members of the local security forces in the country’s western Herat Province, in what provincial police on January 16 described as an insider attack.

Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada said the attack was carried out by at least two Taliban “infiltrators” late on January 15.

He said the attackers fled with the slain militiamen's weapons and ammunition, adding that Afghan government forces had regained control of the area.

Meanwhile, two police officers were killed and one wounded in the capital Kabul on January 16 when a magnetic bomb attached to their vehicle went off, Kabul police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban has continued its violent insurgency against the central government despite the hope of lasting peace through the Qatar process. The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital in recent months.

Representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban are currently in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss the agenda items of the talks.

The violence came hours after the United States announced it has reduced troops levels in Afghanistan to 2,500, which is the lowest number in nearly two decades.

Under a U.S.-Taliban deal reached last February, all foreign forces are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees from the militant group, including severing ties with Al-Qaeda.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and TOLOnews