By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - At least 18 Afghan soldiers have been killed in an overnight attack by the Taliban in the restive western Farah province bordering Iran, an official statement said on Saturday.
In the statement, Gen. Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said an Afghan National Army’s (ANA) check post in the Shak Wasat area of the Bala Balook district was attacked Friday night, leaving 18 soldiers dead.
Without providing exact figures, Waziri said a number of “enemies of the nation” had also been killed in these clashes.
Meanwhile, Dadullah Qaneh, a member of the provincial assembly, told Anadolu Agency he has received reports that the Taliban militants were wearing night goggles during the assault.
He said the militants had seized all arms and ammunition at the ANA check post.
The Taliban have taken responsibility for the attack and claimed to have killed 25 soldiers and captured two others.
Last week, the Taliban staged similar attacks, killing at least 20 police officiers in the provincial capital Farah City and in the Bala Balook district.
Provincial officials in Farah have long been accusing neighboring Iran of assisting and arming the Taliban with night goggles and other weapons, a claim rejected by Tehran.
Earlier this month, around 50 fresh Italian troops arrived to improve the security situation in the Farah province, where several districts are home to a significant number of active militants.
In two separate suicide attacks on Saturday, four people, including civilians, were killed in the capital Kabul and in the southern Helmand province, the country’s Ministry of Interior said in a statement.