Insurgents have kidnapped at least 12 de-miners in separate incidents in Afghanistan's eastern Logar province, the provincial police chief said on Sunday.
General Abdul Hakim Isahqzai said Taliban fighters halted a car carrying six de-miners early on Sunday and abducted them. Insurgents attacked a convoy of de-miners on Saturday and allowed all but six to walk free. No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions, but the Taliban are active in the area.
Meanwhile, in the southern Uruzgan province, the Taliban launched an assault on Afghan security forces in the Gizab district, said district administrator Obaidullah ZafarI. "Insurgents have already taken control of a dozen police checkpoints, and are trying to take over the whole district," he said, adding that two policemen have been killed and 10 others wounded.
"They are in need of immediate assistance from the central government. Otherwise, the district will fall into the hands of the enemy," he said. He claimed that around 500 families have been displaced from their homes as a result of the intense gun battles.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks against government forces across the country since declaring the start of their annual warm-weather offensive in April. In the north-eastern Badakhshan province, Afghan security forces launched an operation on Sunday to retake checkpoints overrun by the Taliban in Yamgan district, said deputy provincial police chief Sakhi Dad Haidari.
Hundreds of Taliban insurgents launched an assault on Saturday, seizing most of the district, according to local officials.