KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An early morning attack on an army checkpoint in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday killed at least seven Afghan soldiers, the defense ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement that the “enemy" attack in Balkh province's district of Dawlat Abad also wounded six other members of the security forces — three soldiers and three intelligence agents.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the wording of the statement indicated that the authorities blame the Taliban, who are active in the district. An investigation was underway, the statement added.
The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as government officials — even as they hold peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with negotiating an end to the 18-year conflict, America's longest war. Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.
On Monday, an American soldier was killed in combat in northern Kunduz province. The Taliban claimed they were behind a fatal roadside bombing that targeted American and Afghan forces.