Taliban Kill13 in Ambush

Taliban Kill13 in Ambush

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban insurgents ambushed a local militia group in northern Balkh province, killing 13 pro-government fighters, provincial officials said Sunday.

Munir Ahmad Farhad, spokesman for the governor of northern Balkh province, said local forces were on their way to take part in a security operation when they were ambushed. The men were part of a local militia established under the authority of the Interior Ministry to defend the area from insurgents.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media.

Also on Sunday, Taliban insurgents launched attacks on the city of Kunduz from two different directions in the country's northeast, according to provincial officials.

Mahmood Danish, spokesman for the provincial governor in Kunduz, confirmed that Taliban fighters attacked the city and heavy fighting was continuing Sunday.

"Taliban attacked from two different directions around the city, but Afghan security forces have repelled their attacks," he Danish.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid released a statement confirming the group's fighters attacked Kunduz and overran a number of police check points.

In May, Taliban insurgents overran the Qala-e Zal district police headquarters after two days of intense fighting that Afghan security forces later were able retake.

The Taliban have launched attacks on Kunduz in the past and at least twice briefly captured the provincial capital, reaching the central roundabout and hoisting their flag around in the city.

The Taliban have increased their attacks against the Afghan security forces since their annual spring offensive began April.