At least 30 Afghan soldiers went missing in the southeastern Ghazni city after the Taliban attacked a national army outpost overnight, Tolo news reports.
A provincial council member Khaliqdad Akbari said the Taliban attacked an outpost of the Afghan National Army in Ghazni province on Friday night that led to hours of heavy clashes between the two sides. The clashes continued until Saturday morning, Akbari added.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban confirmed on Twitter that they attacked a large garrison and a checkpoint in the Arzoo area of Ghazni province.
According to the Tolo news, violence has increased in Afghanistan ahead of the May 21 withdrawal of US and allied troops. The news channel estimates that 226 Afghan civilians and military personnel have been killed in Taliban attacks in 24 provinces since April 14.
On Friday, the representatives of the extended "Troika", comprising the US, Russia, China, and Pakistan met in Doha and discussed ways to support intra-Afghan negotiations and help the parties reach a negotiated settlement, along with a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
"We expect the Taliban to fulfill its counter-terrorism commitments, including preventing terrorist groups and individuals from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country; not hosting these groups and preventing them from recruiting, training, and fundraising. We expect the Afghan government to continue counterterrorism cooperation with the international community," the group of countries said in a joint statement.
They reiterated the call on all parties in Afghanistan to reduce the level of violence in the country and on the Taliban not to pursue a Spring offensive.
( With inputs from ANI )
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