Taliban, Afghan soldiers clash in first attacks since holiday truce

June 20 (UPI) — Taliban and Afghan soldiers clashed in Western Afghanistan Wednesday, just days after a temporary cease-fire for the Eid holiday ended.

Taliban militants killed at least 30 Afghan National Army soldiers and police officers after the group ambushed a reinforcement convoy and stormed bases overnight in Badghis province, officials said.

“More than half of the fatalities came from the ambush and roadside bomb blasts that hit a reinforcement convoy,” Badghis governor Abdul Qhafoor Malikzai said.

At least 24 Taliban insurgents were killed in clashes in the Badghis district early Wednesday, officials said, and Afghan security forces say they seized another 20 motorcycles from the group.

Meanwhile, in Bala Morghab district, nine Taliban fighters were killed and eight others were wounded, police said.

Abdul Aziz Bek, a provincial council chief, said the Taliban used a three-day truce for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday to collect information on military bases to plan an attack.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the government would continue observing the truce for ten days, despite Taliban militants saying the cease-fire would not be extended.