Taleban kill 13 troops in country’s west

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials said the Taleban killed at least 13 Afghan soldiers in battles that raged for three days in western Badghis province where insurgents overran several army checkpoints.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Jamshid Shahabi said the fate of a dozen other soldiers is unknown.

He said the fighting erupted on Saturday in Bala Murghab district. The military carried out several airstrikes and dispatched reinforcement.

Shahabi said 42 insurgents were killed and 15 troops were wounded in the fighting.

However, Mohammad Naser Nazari, a member of the provincial council, gave a higher casualty toll, saying that 20 soldiers were killed and 20 others remain missing.

The officials said the fighting has subsided with only sporadic clashes yesterday in remote areas of the province. The Taleban have claimed responsibility for the attack.