Taliban Kills 30 at Afghan Checkpoints

Taliban Kills 30 at Afghan Checkpoints

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban fighters have killed at least 30 Afghan soldiers in an attack on two checkpoints in western Badghis province, a provincial official said.

Abdul Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council in Badghis, said the fighters first attacked the checkpoints, then ambushed reinforcements as they arrived in Bala Murghab district.

The Taliban moved in large numbers, striking the army positions from different directions, and "very brutally killed them all," Beg said.

He said the attack started Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning.

There were casualties among the insurgents, he said, but couldn't provide an exact number.

In a separate report form the same province, the Taliban launched another attack on a local police check point, killing one and wounding four others in Ob Kamari district, Beg added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Taliban are active in Badghis and have repeatedly claimed attacks against Afghan security forces there.

In neighboring Farah province, Taliban gunmen killed four policemen, said Mohibullah Mohib, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Mohib said five other police personnel were wounded in the attack Wednesday morning on the main high way between Farah and Herat provinces.

He added that the Afghan air force struck back with an airstrike that killed some 20 of the insurgents and wounded eight others.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Farah.

The Taliban had observed a cease-fire over the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday last weekend but rejected the government's request for an extension.

(KA)