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Afghan troops go missing after fleeing battle with Taliban

KABUL: Around 100 Afghan squaddies fled their posts and attempted to cross into neighbouring Turkmenistan all over a week-long combat with the Taliban, officers said Sunday.

Mohammad Naser Nazari, a provincial council member in the western Badghis province, said the soldiers were not allowed to cross the border and their destiny remains unknown.

The Taliban have posted pictures of captured squaddies on social media.

Jamshid Shahabi, the provincial governor's spokesman, said 16 squaddies were killed and 20 wounded all over the continuing combat in the Bala Murghab district, during which the military performed airstrikes and dispatched reinforcements.

He said a number of squaddies attempted to flee, without providing a precise figure.

Shahabi said more than 40 insurgents have been killed in the combating.

He said the provincial police chief and armed forces commander are in the district and teaching the forces to root out insurgents and rescue squaddies. Officials said the combating had in large part subsided via Sunday, with sporadic clashes breaking out in far flung spaces.

Nazari supplied a higher toll, saying 50 squaddies have been killed and around 100 others have been missing.

He said hundreds of local citizens have collected in entrance of the governor's administrative center to express their concerns about safety in the province.

He said Bala Murghab is almost totally controlled via the Taliban, with Afghan forces confined to the district headquarters.

The Taliban were carrying out near-daily assaults across Afghanistan, principally concentrated on the government and Afghan safety forces and causing staggering casualties.

The assaults have persevered despite stepped-up US efforts to barter an finish to the 17-year struggle, America's longest.

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