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Afghan security personnel killed in Taliban attack after ceasefire ends

Attack is first by Taliban since unprecedented ceasefire over Eid

Afghan police and soldiers were killed in an overnight Taliban attack in Kunduz province after an unprecedented ceasefire between the government and militants ended.

Seven Afghan National Army soldiers and two police officers were killed in a clash between the security forces and Taliban after the militants attacked a checkpoint in the Dasht-e-Archi district on Sunday, June 18, Pajhwok Afghan News reported citing a security official.

The report said Taliban fighters stormed a checkpoint overnight in the Bazar area. At least four other soldiers and an unknown number of police were injured.

Taliban fighters also captured weapons and a Humvee, according to the source.

Niamatullah Timori, a spokesperson for the provincial governor, said two soldiers and two police officers were killed and six others wounded. He added that the Taliban “suffered heavy casualties,” but did not specify the numbers.

Seven Taliban were killed and five others wounded, Tolo news reported.

Unprecedented ceasefire

The attack is the first by the Taliban since the end of a ceasefire between the fighters and the government ended on Sunday.

President Ashraf Ghani announced a week-long ceasefire for the end of Ramadan and the Taliban announced their own two days later. Islamic State-Khorasan Province and other foreign terrorist groups were not included in the pause, and the U.S. military killed Maulana Fazlullah, the head of the Pakistani Taliban (or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) in a drone strike on June 13.

Ghani later said the government would extend the ceasefire, but the Taliban did not follow his lead.

For three days, the government and Taliban’s ceasefires overlapped, an unprecedented situation in the 17 years that the two have been at war. Photos emerged on social media of Taliban fighters and Afghan soldiers sharing Eid celebrations, and of civilians in the mix.

Taliban leadership on Sunday told fighters to avoid gatherings of civilians and security officials after an ISKP suicide attack at one such gathering killed 36 people.

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