23 soldiers, 31 militants killed in clashes in Afghanistan: officials

At least 23 Afghan soldiers and 31 militants were killed and several fighters wounded in separate clashes in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar and western Badghis provinces on Wednesday night, provincial officials confirmed on Thursday.

In Nangarhar province, 20 soldiers and 29 militants were killed, and 15 security forces and 20 militants were wounded when security forces repelled militants' attacks in Khogiani, Shirzad and Hesarak districts, provincial government spokesman Attaullah Khogiani said.

The clashes took place after Taliban militants stormed a security checkpoint 120 kilometers east of Kabul during the night, the official said.

In western Badghis province, three soldiers and two militants were killed and six soldiers, two civilians and five militants wounded when security forces fought back attackers who stormed district offices in Qadis district.

"Parts of district administrative office building and an armored military vehicle caught fire after security force members forced back militants who tried to overran the offices," district chief Haidar Sharifi said.

Taliban militants claimed that their fighters inflicted casualties on security forces in Badghis, but they did not give information on the fighting in Nangarhar.

The clashes came as peace talks between a government delegation and Taliban representatives were underway in Doha, capital of Qatar.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency