17 Afghan Soldiers Dead in Attack by IS-affiliates
Content by: Voice of AmericaISLAMABAD —
Local Islamic State affiliates have attacked and killed at least 17 government soldiers in eastern Afghanistan, officials confirmed Friday.
The deadly clash occurred in Dih Bala, a district in the border province of Nangarhar, where Afghan forces have recently launched a counter-IS offensive with American air support.
Provincial security sources said that a large group of IS loyalists staged the surprise assault against Afghan National Army outposts from three directions, which triggered heavy fighting that lasted for several hours.
At least eight militants were also killed and 12 others wounded, the sources claimed, while confirming the death of 17 soldiers.
Nangarhar borders Pakistan and is the only Afghan province where IS has succeeded in establishing bases in several districts.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, has condemned the killing of 12 civilians in Thursday’s bomb blast in the southeastern province of Paktika on the Pakistani border.
Eight children were among the victims who were returning home from school for the weekend when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, according to a UNAMA statement issued Friday.
The number of child casualties in Afghanistan rose by 24 percent last year, which marked the highest recorded civilian casualties since 2009 when UNAMA began systematically documenting such figures in the conflict-torn country.