More than 30 Taliban fighters killed in Afghan airstrikes, says defense ministry

More than 30 Taliban fighters killed in Afghan airstrikes, says defense ministry

The Afghan air force conducted multiple strikes on Taliban positions Saturday that killed more than 30 insurgent fighters, officials said, as President Ashraf Ghani once again called for a ceasefire.

The Taliban claimed the strike had killed nearly two dozen civilians including women and children in the latest mass-casualty incident in Afghanistan that came even as peace talks were under way in Qatar.

“This morning, Taliban fighters attacked (Afghan army) positions in … Khan Abad district in Kunduz province,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

The military “intercepted the attack in accordance with ‘active defense’ procedures,” the statement added, noting that more than 30 Taliban fighters including two commanders were killed.

In a statement, the Taliban denied its fighters were hit and said 23 civilians had been killed.

The defense ministry said it was aware of the claim and would investigate.

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