Taliban attack on Afghan border post kills 14 security forces

An Afghan soldier escorts Taliban prisoners during their release from the Bagram prison on May 26, 2020. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 29 May 2020

Taliban attack on Afghan border post kills 14 security forces

  • A three-day cease-fire offered by the militants officially ended late on Tuesday

KABUL: Taliban fighters stormed an Afghan border post Friday, killing at least 14 security force members, the insurgents and officials said, the latest in a series of attacks since the end of a brief cease-fire.
“Last night the mujahideen carried out attacks against the newly established posts of the enemy in Dande Patan district of Paktia province,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.
“The enemy has been recently trying to expand its rule in mujahideen territories,” he said, adding that two Taliban fighters were also killed.
Afghan officials confirmed the attack in the early hours of Friday had killed 14 Afghan security force members.
Dande Patan district governor Eid Mohammad Ahmadzai said that 15 security force members and 20 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting.
Officials had also accused the Taliban of carrying out two other raids on separate checkpoints on Thursday, but the Taliban have not claimed those attacks so far. Those two attacks also killed a total of 14 Afghan security force members.
A three-day cease-fire offered by the militants officially ended late on Tuesday but an overall lull in the country’s grinding violence has largely held, officials and experts have said.


Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again menace island

Updated 1 min 47 sec ago

Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again menace island

  • China had on Friday announced combat drills near the Taiwan Strait
  • Beijing also denounced what it called collusion between Taiwan and the US
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s air force scrambled jets for a second consecutive day on Saturday as multiple Chinese aircraft approached the island and crossed the sensitive midline of the Taiwan Strait, with the island’s government urging Beijing to “pull back from the edge.”
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 19 Chinese aircraft were involved, one more than in the previous day, with some crossing the Taiwan Strait midline and others flying into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone off its southwest coast.
It said China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, sent 12 J-16 fighters, two J-10 fighters, two J-11 fighters, two H-6 bombers and one Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft. According to a map the ministry provided, none got close to mainland Taiwan itself or flew over it.
“ROCAF scrambled fighters, and deployed air defense missile system to monitor the activities,” the ministry said in a tweet, referring to the Republic of China Air Force, the formal name of Taiwan’s air force.
China had on Friday announced combat drills near the Taiwan Strait and denounced what it called collusion between the island and the United States.
US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach arrived in Taipei on Thursday for a three-day visit, the most senior State Department official to come to Taiwan in four decades, angering China.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, in a separate statement, said China was carrying out provocative activities, seriously damaging peace and stability.
“The Defense Ministry sternly condemns this, and calls on the mainland authorities to control themselves and pull back from the edge.”
The latest Chinese flights came the same day Taiwan held a memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui, dubbed “Mr. Democracy” for ending autocratic rule in favor of free elections and championing Taiwan’s separate identity from China.
Lee, who died in July, became Taiwan’s first democratically elected president in March 1996 after eight months of intimidating war games and missile tests by China in waters around the island.
Those events brought China and Taiwan to the verge of conflict, prompting the United States to send an aircraft carrier task force to the area in a warning to Beijing’s government.