Twenty three people were killed in clashes between security forces and Taliban members in Khwaja Ghar district of northeastern Takhar province in Afghanistan, local officials said on Saturday.
Takhar Governorate Spokesman Sunnetullah Timur told Anadolu agency that 20 militants and 3 police officers were killed and eight other militants were wounded in the clashes which had been continuing intermittently for about two days.
He also said that security forces recaptured Taliban-controlled areas and new police stations would be built on those areas.
However, Taliban has not made a statement about the incident yet.
About four months ago, two militants and eight police officers had been killed in clashes in the same town between Taliban and security forces.
Taliban militants intensified their activities after the Afghan government signed a Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States, and later inked the same pact with NATO after the Alliance’s ISAF mission ended at the end of 2014.
The US pledged to keep an additional 1,000 soldiers in Afghanistan this year, bringing the number of its residual troops there to 10,800 in years to come.
The violence caused by the Taliban militancy has recently increased as the newly-established Afghan government led-by President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban militants started a peace talks process which is expected to be resumed inthis summer.
In late April, the Taliban announced they started their “spring offensive,” taking advantage of Afghan security forces’ unprepared conditions after foreign forces had started withdrawing their missions from the country.