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Taliban kill over 30 police in western Afghanistan


More than 30 policemen have been killed in separate assaults by Taliban in Afghanistan’s western province of Farah, officials say.

Farid Bakhtawar, head of the provincial council, said on Friday that Taliban militants had attacked a police base overnight in Balabuluk district, killing at least 23 policemen and injuring three others.

The militants also killed 11 policemen and seized a large quantity of weapons and equipment in a separate attack in Farah city, the official added.

The remote and sparsely populated province of Farah, which borders Iran, has been a key battleground for the militants for months, with heavy fighting in Balabuluk.

The region covers major smuggling routes into Iran from the Taliban heartland of Helmand province, the hub of Afghan opium production.

In past weeks, the Afghan capital has seen an increase in violence after Taliban announced the beginning of their annual spring offensive. Fighting is expected to pick up further once the opium harvest is completed in the coming weeks.

Violence has also increased around voter registration centers set up ahead of the country’s long-delayed legislative elections that are due in October.

US-led forces invaded Afghanistan and toppled a ruling Taliban regime some 17 years ago. That ongoing war has failed to bring stability to the country despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces. A recent survey found that Taliban were active in two-thirds of the country and were fully controlling four percent of it.

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