Abdul Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council in Badghis province, says the Taliban struck Afghan army positions from different directions. There are conflicting reports over the Taliban's claim.

Taliban militants.
Taliban militants. (AFP Archive)

Taliban fighters have killed at least 30 Afghan soldiers in an attack on two checkpoints in western Badghis province, a provincial official said.

Abdul Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council in Badghis, said the fighters first attacked the checkpoints, then ambushed reinforcements as they arrived in Bala Murghab district.

The Taliban moved in large numbers, striking the army positions from different directions, and "very brutally killed them all," Beg said.

He said the attack started on Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning.

General Ahmad Fahim Qayim, the Badghis police chief, claimed the Taliban launched "a large attack from six directions."

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, Associated Press reported. 

But the Taliban are active in Badghis and have repeatedly claimed attacks against Afghan security forces there. 

According to AFP news agency, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a WhatsApp message to journalists.

Fighting continues

In a separate report from the same province, the Taliban launched another attack on a local police checkpoint, killing one and wounding four others in Ob Kamari district, Beg added.

Badghis governor spokesman Jamshid Shahabi told AFP that 15 Taliban fighters were also killed and 21 wounded in the attacks on two bases in Bala Murghab district.

The defence ministry issued a statement saying fighting in the area continued as the Taliban faced "stiff resistance" from Afghan security forces.

Further reinforcements had been deployed, the statement said.

Ceasefire accusations

The Taliban had observed a ceasefire over the three-day Eid al Fitr holiday last weekend but rejected the government's request for an extension.

Beg accused the Taliban of taking advantage of the suspension in fighting to do reconnaissance in the area. 

"During the ceasefire the Taliban had sent informants to collect information about the bases and plan the attack." he told AFP.

Officials said the group may have used the three-day truce, that ended on Sunday, to plan the attacks.

King Salman welcomes ceasefire

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said in a statement he welcomes the truce between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The Saudi king added that he has been following the ceasefire closely and hopes it will be renewed.

He also said the move could achieve a long- term peace for the Afghan people who have suffered extensively.  

Source: TRTWorld and agencies