Taliban kill five policemen, abduct 19 people in southern Afghanistan
February 28 2018 12:42 PM


Taliban militants have killed five policemen during an attack on a checkpoint at the border of the southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar and Oruzgan, an official said on Wednesday.

Nineteen people, including civilians and policemen, were abducted in the attack, which took place at 5 pm (1230 GMT) on Tuesday, Kandahar police spokesman Ahmadzia Durani said.

The militants first launched an assault on a police checkpoint at the crossing point between Kandahar and Oruzgan, Durani said. At the same time, another Taliban unit set up a new checkpoint about two kilometres away on the Kandahar-Uruzgan highway and abducted 19 passengers.

Efforts are underway to secure the release of those abducted, Durani said, but added that neither the location nor the health status of the abductees was currently known.

Taliban militants have increasingly targeted Afghan security force establishments since the end of NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.

The militants also routinely set up checkpoints to apprehend members of the Afghan government and international organizations in areas of their influence.

In Kabul, a peace conference with representatives from 26 countries started on Wednesday, focusing on ways to bring the insurgent Taliban to the negotiating table.

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