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News, June 2020
As US Troops Are Reduced to 8,600, in Line with Taliban Deal, 17 Military Personnel Are Killed in Northern Afghanistan
RFE, June 20, 2020
Top General Says U.S. Troop Cut In Afghanistan Hits 8,600 Target In Line With Taliban Deal
June 18, 2020 22:44 GMT
General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, says the U.S. has reduced its troop presence in Afghanistan to the level agreed with the Taliban in February.
The United States has reduced its troop presence in Afghanistan to
levels agreed to as part of a February deal with the Taliban, the
general who oversees the region says.
With reporting by AFP and AP
Afghans Say Taliban Attacks Kill At Least 17 Military Personnel In Northern Provinces
June 17, 2020 09:56 GMT
Afghan officials say Taliban fighters have attacked a checkpoint in the northern province of Jawzjan, killing 12 security force members.
Abdul Marouf Azar, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said on June 17 that five others were wounded in the attack that occurred at dawn in the Aqcha district. The militants have taken four soldiers hostage following the attack, Azar said, adding that the militants also suffered casualties. "Five Taliban were also killed and 10 others were wounded in the clashes," he said.
The Defense Ministry confirmed the attack and said six of its soldiers were among the dead.
A Taliban spokesman said the group was responsible for the attack, but he said the death toll was higher, though he did not elaborate.
In another northern province, Kunduz, militants attacked an Afghan National Army checkpoint on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz city, killing five soldiers, according to the provincial police chief, Faqir Muhammad Jawzjani.
At least seven others were wounded in the incident, he added.
Meanwhile, the explosion of a mortar shell in the southeastern province of Ghazni left four children dead, while wounding three others, the provincial governor's spokesman, Arif Noori, said.
The children found the shell in the Deh Yak district and started playing with it when it went off, Noori said.
The government has said that in recent weeks some 422 Afghan personnel have been killed or wounded across the country in at least 220 Taliban attacks.
The Taliban says it remains committed to an agreement they signed with the United States in February.
The landmark deal provides for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and is intended to pave the way for peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed government in Kabul.
With reporting by dpa and AFP
At Least 17 Killed In Attacks Across Afghanistan
June 13, 2020 13:46 GMT
Afghan officials say at least 17 people have been killed in a string of attacks across the country.
There was no claim of responsibility for the series of attacks on June 13.
Violence in the country has spiked in recent weeks despite progress toward the launch of direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government over a permanent cease-fire and future power-sharing deal.
Gunmen killed eight people in the eastern province of Khost, the spokesman for the provincial police chief said.
Spokesman Adel Haidar said Abdul Wali Ekhlas, a candidate in last year's parliamentary elections, was among those killed in the Ali Sher district.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
In the eastern province of Logar, a local official said gunmen stormed a house in the provincial capital, Pul-e Alam, killing a woman and her three daughters.
In the northeastern province of Badakhshan, the provincial spokesman for the police chief said a pro-government militia commander and three of his men were killed by gunmen.
Meanwhile, a cleric was gunned down by gunmen in the northern province of Takhar.
On June 12, a pro-government cleric was killed in an explosion in the capital, Kabul.
Also on June 12, an official in the central province of Ghor said Taliban militants stormed a police checkpoint and killed 10 police officers.
Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and AFP
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