Afghan official: 11 soldiers killed in Taliban ambush
June 29, 2015
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters killed 11 government soldiers on Sunday in a surprise attack in western Afghanistan amid growing concern over insurgent activity in the region.
Taliban gunmen ambushed an army supply convoy from 207th Corps while it was traveling through Karokh district in Herat province — about 500 miles west of Kabul — defense officials said.
Security forces killed six guerrillas during the ensuing gun battle, said Ihsanullah Hayat, spokesman for the governor of Herat province. On Monday, the Defense Ministry confirmed that 11 soldiers had died in the clash.
During this year’s fighting season, the Taliban have largely focused their efforts in northern Afghanistan, launching coordinated attacks in Badakhshan and Kunduz over the past several weeks.
The Taliban have demonstrated an ability to quickly mass hundreds of fighters for attacks on remote or lightly defended districts since they launched their summer offensive in April — the first fighting season since most U.S. and NATO forces pulled out after the end of the combat mission in 2014.
Recent coordinated attacks on key districts in northern Afghanistan and the parliament building in Kabul last week showed the group’s ability to execute such operations in the wake of the U.S. and coalition military drawdown in the country.
About 13,000 Western troops remain in Afghanistan, concentrated on the dwindling number of American and NATO bases in the country. They primarily serve to train and advise the government army and police.
Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report