Afghan security personnel searched a motorcyclist near the entrance of the presidential palace in Kabul. File photo/ AFP
An Afghan official says the Taliban have targeted security checkpoints in northeastern Takhar province, killing eight members of the security forces.
Wafiullah Rahmani, head of the provincial council, says three soldiers and five policemen were killed in Monday night’s attack in Khwaja Bahaudin district.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The insurgents stage near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, even as peace efforts have accelerated to find an end to Afghanistan’s 17-year war.
Separately, Dadullah Qaneh, councilman in western Farah province, says coalition forces on Sunday carried out airstrikes against Taliban-run heroin labs, killing 15 laborers.
But Mohibullah Mohib, the provincial police chief’s spokesman, says those killed in Bakwa district were all members of the Taliban.
The Taliban run most of Afghanistan’s drug trade and control vast opium poppy fields.
The Taliban on Friday announced their annual spring offensive, which comes as the US and Afghan politicians try to negotiate for a peace settlement with the militants.
Abdul Samad Salehi, a provincial councilman, says the convoy was heading to defuse a roadside bomb on Wednesday afternoon when the ambush happened in Anardara district.
Nine Afghan policemen were killed when Taliban fighters stormed their checkpoints and launched a follow-up ambush in the eastern Afghanistan city of Ghazni, officials said on Saturday.
A passenger train carrying at least 2,000 people derailed as it was crossing a bridge in Bangladesh on Monday killing five people and injuring more than 100, officials said.
The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) recorded 664,480 applications for international protection in 2018, down for the third year running and 10 percent lower than in 2017.
The gunmen attacked the villages of Sagho and Toekodogo, in the Barsalogho district, on Saturday, Defence Minister Cheriff Sy said in a statement, describing them as members of "armed terrorist groups".