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Six Afghan security forces killed in Taliban bomb attack in Baghlan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Afghan security forces.

At least six security forces have been killed and nearly a dozen more wounded in a Taliban car bomb attack in Afghanistan’s northern province of Baghlan, sources say. 

The deadly incident occurred in the early hours of Thursday, when an explosives-laden vehicle went off close to a military base in Bagh-e-Shamal area in Pul-e-Khumri, the center of Baghlan, Afghanistan’s TOLO news reported, citing unnamed sources.

“The base was also a recruitment center for the army,” one of the sources said, adding that “some parts of the base have been destroyed in the blast.”

“After the attack, the Taliban has placed roadside mines on Baghlan-Samangan Highway and also closed the road to traffic,” another source noted.

According to Abbas Tawakoli, the commander of the 3rd Brigade of 217 Pamir Army Corps, members of the Taliban militant group initiated the gunfight, but their assault was thwarted by security forces.

“A number of the security force members were wounded in the blast and some walls of the base were damaged,” he further said, adding that the security forces' operation moved forward slowly in Baghlan-Samangan Highway due to existing roadside mines.

In a statement issued later on Thursday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the report added.

The deadly bomb blast was the latest in a series of attacks across Afghanistan, which has seen a sharp rise in violence since the United States missed a withdrawal deadline it had agreed with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, last year.

The US and its allies overthrew the Taliban regime shortly after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. But US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden.

All foreign troops were supposed to have been withdrawn by May 1, as part of an agreement that the US had reached with the Taliban in the Qatari capital last year. But Biden last month pushed that date back to September 11.

The Taliban warned that the passing of the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal “opened the way for” the militants to take every counteraction they deemed appropriate against foreign forces in the county.

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