Afghan officials: More than 200 police, soldiers killed

The Taliban militants have captured Ghormach district in northern Faryba province of Afghanistan local officials said Tuesday

Provincial police chief Mohammad Masoom Hashemi said the clearance operations fully concluded late on Tuesday night and operations are now being conducted in the remote parts of the province.

Akhonzada and Akhon also said 45 civilians had also been killed, and more than 100 members of the security forces had been wounded.

Sayed Abdul Baqi Hashemi, a provincial council member, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban militants launched attacks on Afghan forces' security posts late on Monday night.

"We were one battalion there and, except me and two others, no one came out alive", Faiz Mohammad, an army soldier who survived the ambush, told Reuters in Lashkar Gah, a bloodied bandage wrapped around his head.

Security forces are now engaged in heavy fighting with the Taliban to retake the control of Kunduz, which fell to Taliban on October 3 for the second time in a year.

"We were in contact with the troops there and the plan was to bring them back to Lashkar Gah to protect the city, but they made a decision to move without coordinating with us and they were ambushed by the Taliban". Both police and soldiers fight on Afghanistan's front lines.

Smoke rises after a suicide attack in Lashkar Gah the capital of southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, Oct. 10, 2016.

"We do have concerns about the number of ANDSF casualties and it is something we work closely with our Afghan partners to address", said U.S. Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, spokesman for Resolute Support, NATO's mission in Afghanistan.

The attack prompted the USA military to conduct several airstrikes against Taliban positions to support Afghan forces, according to Cleveland. Gen. Charles Cleveland, said American forces had conducted "a total of three airstrikes in Helmand since October 12".

Mullah Obaidullah, a Taliban shadow district chief for Ghormach, said that all other areas including the district center was under their control except the ANA main base which was located a kilometer away from the district headquarter. "So they commit a lot of effort and a lot of capability into Helmand".

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