Another Afghan district on the verge of fall to Taliban as dozens of soldiers killed

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Another Afghan district on the verge of fall to Taliban as dozens of soldiers killed

KANDAHAR: At least 14 Afghan soldiers and police were killed during intense fighting with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Monday, as unabated violence gripped the country despite ongoing peace talks.

Taliban fighters launched an overnight assault late on Sunday on several Afghan security force positions in the southern province of Uruzgan, inflicting a heavy toll that left Afghan troops vulnerable to being overrun.

The government-controlled district of Gizab also risked falling into insurgent hands, officials said.

“Intense fighting is ongoing. Our forces have retreated from several outposts,” Zelgai Ebadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

Officials said 14 Afghan security forces had been killed and more than a dozen more wounded.

“The fighting is now close to police headquarters. We need more reinforcements,” said Amir Mohammad Barekzai, head of the Uruzgan provincial council.

The battle comes as Taliban and Afghan government negotiators are meeting in Doha, where they are trying to find a way to end 19 years of war.