A roadside bomb has killed at least nine Afghan soldiers during an ongoing military operation in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh Province.
Media reports on Sunday cited an Afghan official as saying that in addition to the nine killed, several more Afghan forces had been injured in clashes with militants in the Chimtal district of Balkh the night before.
Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said Afghan forces were battling Taliban militants in the region.
He said five militants had also been killed and dozens more wounded during the ongoing military operation.
Taliban militants have occupied a number of districts across the country, and are intensifying their attacks as weather conditions get better. Taliban militants launch a heightened offensive in the war-torn country every spring, targeting Afghan security forces and US-led foreign forces.
Sixteen years ago, the United States led a coalition of foreign forces in an invasion of Afghanistan targeted against the then-Taliban regime. While the group was forced out of power in the war, which continues to this day, its members have been carrying out militant attacks across the country ever since.
There are currently 8,400 US troops stationed in different bases in Afghanistan.
US General Joseph Votel, who is in charge of US military operations in the Middle East, recently said the military had asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for more troops in Afghanistan.
Votel revealed US intentions for a reinforcement of the American troops in Afghanistan last month.