Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Taliban targeted an army checkpoint in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least fifteen Afghan soldiers, the defense ministry and the insurgents said.
The ministry said in a statement that the “enemy” attack in northern Balkh province, in the district of Dawlat Abad, also wounded six other members of the security forces - three soldiers and three intelligence agents. An investigation was underway, the statement added.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, saying also that the insurgents captured four Afghan troops and seized weapons and ammunition form the checkpoint.
The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and US forces, as well as government officials - even as they hold peace talks with a US envoy tasked with negotiating an end to the 18-year conflict, America’s longest war. Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.
On Monday, an American soldier was killed in combat in northern Kunduz province. The Taliban claimed they were behind a fatal roadside bombing that targeted American and Afghan forces in Kunduz.
The ministry of defence confirmed the attack and said six of its soldiers were among the dead. The Taliban spokesman for the group's fighting forces, Zabihullah Mujahib, claimed the attack but gave a higher toll.
The US military on Monday said two of its troops had been killed in action in Afghanistan, but did not provide any additional details, pending notification of next of kin.
Taliban fighters have stormed several security posts providing protection to Afghanistan’s historic minaret of Jam, cutting access to the Unesco World Heritage Site and killing 18 security forces, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials earlier said three persons had died in the mishap, while four others were shifted to a hospital. With four more casualties, the death toll had increased to seven the victims included two women.
Upon completion at an estimated timeframe of 6 years, this will be the most comprehensive historical corpus of the Arabic language undertaken till date.
The ministry announced that one person who tested positive for COVID-19 died due to complications. This brings the total death toll to 357.