Checkpoint attack kills 15 in Afghanistan

An early morning attack on an army checkpoint in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday killed at least 15 security forces local officials said on Tuesday, the latest in an escalating series of insurgent attacks.

An earlier report from the defense ministry stated that the morning attack killed 7 Afghan soldiers. The ministry tends not to provide exact figures on its casualties sustained in fighting with the Taliban.

The ministry said in a statement that the “enemy” attack in Balkh province’s district of Dawlat Abad also wounded six other members of the security forces – three soldiers and three intelligence agents.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the wording of the statement indicated that the authorities blame the Taliban, who are active in the district. An investigation is underway, the statement added.

Despite a winter lull in fighting due to heavy snowfall in the mountains where the Taliban typically rest and regroup ahead of their annual spring offensive, assaults on vulnerable security checkpoints continue across the country.