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No fewer than 20 soldiers killed in northern Afghanistan

At least 20 soldiers were killed in an overnight Taliban attack in Afghanistan’s northern province of Jawzjan, officials said on Tuesday.

At least two other soldiers disappeared following the attack on a military base in the Aqchah district of the province.

A member of parliament representing the province, Mohammad Karim Jawzjani, and provincial council member Abdul Hai Hayat said.

The officials said that over the past months the security situation in the province bordering Turkmenistan has deteriorated.

Officials say the Taliban have maintained a presence in all districts of Jawzjan, except the provincial capital.

In the past four months alone, the Taliban took control of two districts, first overrunning Qushtepa in July and then taking Darzab district nearly three weeks ago.

Afghan forces continue to fight Taliban militants and Islamic State terrorists.

The fighting surged this year during ongoing talks between the U.S. and the Taliban about a political solution to the conflict.

According to analysts, both sides had tried to gain leverage at the negotiating table through military gains.

The talks were called off by U.S. President, Donald Trump in early September.

However, there are signs that the talks might be resumed.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held talks in the Afghan capital in the past days and met Afghan officials including President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.(dpa/NAN)

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