17 pro-gov't militiamen killed in clashes in N. Afghanistan


At least 17 pro-government local militiamen were killed and four others wounded when they fought back Taliban militants in Afghanistan's northern Takhar province during Saturday night, a provincial government spokesman said on Sunday.

"Taliban militants stormed a camp of local uprising fighters in Khwaja Bahawoddin district overnight Saturday. The local uprising fighters fought back the attackers and some 10 militants were also killed during the fighting," Spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hijri told Xinhua.

The militiamen, under the command of Malik Tatar, handle security checkpoints in the area where Taliban militants frequently attack villages, according to Hijri.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The province has been the scene of heavy clashes between Taliban and security forces for long.