Afghan forces gain ground from Taliban in Paktia

Marie Harrington
August 6, 2017

At least five people were killed after Taliban militants attacked a money exchange market in Helmand province early Friday morning, locals and officials said. "The Taliban are the enemy of the Afghan people".

The shops in the building were closed when the attack took place.

"Our prayers today are with the nearly 900 Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan who are mourning their fallen comrade", said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, known as the Resolute Support Mission.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told The Associated Press over the phone yesterday that one of its fighters from Takhar province carried out the attack.

The wounded were being treated at a US military hospital at Bagram Airfield and were in stable condition, the statement said.

The troops were patrolling with Afghan National Army counterparts in the Qarabagh district of Kabul province, near Bagram Air Field, the largest USA base in the country, when the suicide bomb detonated.

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Five members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) were killed in a vehicle bomb attack, Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, told Anadolu Agency. Both attacks were claimed by the Taliban.

He said one police officer was killed at the scene and another who was wounded died later in hospital.

The coalition maintains almost 13,000 troops from 39 countries as part of a mission to train, advise and assist Afghan troops.

The two US service members killed Wednesday after their convoy came under attack in Afghanistan have been identified.

In recent days, the Taliban have stepped up their attacks on Afghan security forces across the country's south. Christopher Michael Harris, 25, of Jackson Springs, N.C., were killed when a auto bomb detonated near their convoy, the Pentagon said in a release late Thursday. The suicide bomber first sprayed gunfire at the private guards who were protecting the mosque, before running inside firing until his rifle jammed, according to witnesses.

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