World

Taliban attacks kill 14 troops, police in Afghanistan

KABUL — Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan killed 14 soldiers and police officers on Monday as Kabul residents prepared to bury their loved ones slain in a horrific bombing by the Islamic State that targeted a voter registration center the day before, killing 57.

Prayer services were held for the Kabul victims as families of those killed in Sunday’s bombing carried the bodies of their kin and dug the graves at a cemetery in the hills above the Afghan capital.

The first of Monday’s near-simultaneous attacks in western Badghis province hit army units in the district of Ab Kamari, killing nine soldiers, said Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, the deputy provincial police chief.

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Moments later, another large group of insurgents struck police in Qadis district, killing five police.

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Sharafuddin Majidi, spokesman for the provincial governor, confirmed the casualty tolls. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Badghis attacks in a statement to the media.

The attacks came on the heels of Sunday’s suicide blast in Kabul. The staggering casualty toll — 57 dead and 119 wounded — underscored the struggles the government faces to rein in militant assaults even in large and well-protected urban centers.

ASSOCIATED PRESS