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Taliban kill dozens of police in Afghanistan

11 May 2018 TRT World

Two separate attack by the Taliban have left at least 33 dead. The ongoing violence has led to the extension of a deadline for Afghans to register to vote in the October 20 legislative elections.

Afghan security personnel stand guard near the site of a suicide bombing at Shash Darak in Kabul on February 24, 2018


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Taliban militants attacked Afghan bases in the western province of Farah, killing more than 30 police, officials said on Friday, as the insurgents stepped up their offensive in a region with vital opium smuggling routes into neighbouring Iran.Farid Bakhtawar, head of the Farah provincial council, said fighters had stormed a police base overnight in Balabuluk, a district that has been under heavy pressure for months, killing at least 23 and wounding three.In a separate attack in Farah city, Taliban fighters killed 11 police and seized a large quantity of weapons and equipment, he said.Baghlan falls to Taliban The latest violence underlines the extent of the pressure faced by the government of President Ashraf Ghani, already heavily criticised for a spate of suicide bombings in the capital, Kabul.Last week, Taliban militants, who challenge government control in almost half the country, seized a district in the northern province of Baghlan and there has been heavy fighting in areas from Faryab in the northwest to Ghazni, south of Kabul.Farah, a remote and sparsely populated province between Iran to the west and the Taliban heartland of Helmand province in the south, has been a key battleground for the insurgents for months, with heavy fighting in Balabuluk district.The region covers major smuggling routes into Iran from Helmand, source of much of Afghanistan's opium crop.Afghan special forces, backed by air support, have been heavily involved in the fighting but have been unable to prevent repeated attacks by the insurgents.Farah's governor resigned in January, claiming political interference and corruption, and residents have complained bitterly about security in the province.Since the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive last month, fighting has been intense in many areas of the country and it is expected to pick up further once the opium harvest is completed in coming weeks.Deadline for voter registration extendedA deadline for Afghans to register to vote in the October 20 legislative elections has been extended, officials said on Friday, as hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded in poll-related violence.Enrolment for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections began on April 14 and was originally scheduled to finish in mid-June.The decision came as UN figures released Thursday showed 86 civilians had been killed and 185 wounded in 23 election-related security incidents since registration began.Most of the casualties happened on April 22 when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 and wounding 138, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.The majority of the casualties were women and children, the report said. It added that 26 civilians also had been abducted.The Taliban and Daesh have made clear their intentions to disrupt the elections.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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