The Afghan government said on Monday that at least 57 Afghan soldiers were killed in overnight clashes with the Taliban, the bloodiest day of fighting since intra-Afghan talks began in Doha earlier this month.
The Taliban has not confirmed any casualties, but an Afghan military spokesman said 54 Taliban fighters were killed in Kunduz, Takhar, and Baghlan provinces. A spokesman from the local government of Maidan Ward Province said 26 Taliban members were killed there, bringing the total to 80.
The Afghan government took the heaviest casualties in the central province of Uruzgan, where at least 24 Afghan soldiers were killed after the Taliban attacked security checkpoints.
The fighting came after the Afghan government carried out airstrikes in the Kunduz Province, killing 24 civilians. According to witnesses, the initial airstrike hit a Taliban member’s home and started a fire at a neighboring house. Villagers rushed to help those trapped inside, and another airstrike hit, killing many of them.
The warring parties currently have delegations in Doha for intra-Afghan peace talks, as arranged by the US-Taliban peace deal signed in February. Since the intra-Afghan talks started, there has been some fighting, but this weekend saw the largest spike in violence.