Taliban kill 20 Afghan forces on New Year’s Eve

Militants storm administrative headquarters of Sayaad district in northern Afghanistan

Taliban kill 20 Afghan forces on New Year’s Eve

The Taliban stormed the administrative headquarters of Sayaad district in northern Afghanistan on New Year’s Eve, killing at least 20 security forces, an official said on Tuesday.

Noor Mohammad Rehmani, chairman of the provincial council, told Anadolu Agency 20 people were also wounded in the attack.

The district administrative headquarters usually houses all public offices inside one boundary wall, such as district police station, directorates for health, education and other public houses.

Rehmani warned the district might fell to the rebels if additional troops are not sent for the rescue immediately.

Qari Yosuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying three check posts were overrun and a number of vehicles, arms and ammunition confiscated last night.

This comes in the backdrop of the recent push by the U.S for talks with the Taliban to end the longest American war.

Top U.S. peace negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad met the Taliban representatives in the UAE last month, but the rebels continue to avoid meeting Afghan officials.

The Taliban in their self-styled diplomacy met representatives of a number of countries in the past couple of weeks in different locations.

Zabiullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesman, said in a statement a delegation was also sent to Tehran to hold talks regarding the situation of Afghanistan.

Bahram Qasemi, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, had earlier said the talks were being held with the knowledge of Afghan government with an intention to set parameters for negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

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