Taliban fighters have killed 12 more Afghan troops in the siege of a government building that has continued into its second day.
Afghan officials say a massive Taliban siege of a government compound and army base in western Badghis province, now in its second day, has killed at least 12 more troops.
Friday's fatalities bring the overall casualty toll for the assault in the district of Bala Murghab to at least 32. Many more have been wounded and the area is cut off.
Mohammad Nasir Nazari, a provincial council member, says that according to soldiers inside the base, roughly 2,000 Taliban fighters are involved in the attack.
He says there are about 600 Afghan troops and members of the security forces inside and they are running out of ammunition, water and food.
Abdul Waris Sherzad, a district chief, says the locals are disappointed that NATO forces and the Afghan government have not helped.
The conflict in Badghis has been particularly intense along with northern Kunduz province and Helmand province in the south in recent weeks. Both sides took heavy casualties in Badghis last month, and at one point 50 members of Afghan security forces surrendered to the Taliban.
Fighting between militant groups has also intensified. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Thursday that Daesh attacks on Taliban positions on March 23 resulted in 21,000 people being displaced in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces.
The latest attack came as the US envoy tasked with forging a peace deal with the Taliban met with officials in Pakistan on Friday, after telling leaders and various groups in Afghanistan they would be included in future talks.
Zalmay Khalilzad was in Islamabad after spending five days in Afghanistan amid strains between Washington and President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, which has complained bitterly of being sidelined in peace talks.