More than 30 Taliban killed in Afghan air strikes: Ministry

More than 30 Taliban killed in Afghan air strikes: Ministry

KABUL: The Afghan Air Force on Saturday attacked several Taliban targets, killing more than 30 rebel fighters, officials said, with President Ashraf Ghani once again calling for a ceasefire.
The Taliban claimed that the strike killed about two dozen civilians, including women and children, in the latest mass casualty incident in Afghanistan that also came during peace talks in Qatar.
“This morning, Taliban fighters attacked (Afghan army) bases,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Twitter.
“The attack stalled the attack according to ‘active defense’ procedures,” the statement said.
In a statement, the Taliban denied that its fighters had been killed and said 23 civilians had been killed.
The Ministry of Defense said it was aware of the claim and would investigate.
Mohammad Naeem Mangal, director of the local hospital, told AFP that three dead and three injured civilians were brought to the facility.
Shortly before Ghani’s attack, a humanitarian ceasefire was once again called “to protect our people, prevent violence and terrorist incidents, and to achieve a respectable and lasting peace.”
The rebels have so far ignored such requests, though they have unilaterally called the two short, in separate rounds for peace talks this year, which opened in Doha a week earlier.
Talks have progressed slowly so far, with both sides still unspecified about an agenda.

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