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At least 20 killed in Taliban ambush of Afghan police convoy

Afghan National Police (ANP) recruits listen to instructors before firing their AK-47 rifles at a range near the regional training center for the ANP near Gardez, Afghanistan, March 17, 2007. (Staff Sgt. Michael Bracken/U.S. Army)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

At least 20 Afghan police officers were killed when their convoy was ambushed in the western province of Farah, officials say.

A spokesman for the provincial police, Muhebullah Muheb, told RFE/RL that the newly appointed police chief of the Lash-e Juwayn district were among those killed in the November 26 attack, which was claimed by the Taliban.

A deputy provincial police chief was also said to be among the dead.

A spokesman at the provincial hospital was quoted as saying that a total of 22 bodies were brought in from the assault.

Two members of the provincial council, Dadullah Qaneh and Shah Mahmood Naeemi, said at least four officers were also wounded.

The convoy came under fire as it was heading to Lash-e Juwayn for the introduction of the newly appointed district police chief, according to a third council member, Abdul Samad Salehi.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed that four vehicles were destroyed in the assault and large quantities of weapons were captured.

Farah is a sparsely populated province on the border with Iran where the Taliban controls large parts of the countryside.

A number of Taliban attacks has left more than 100 Afghan police officers and soldiers dead in the province this month alone.

Afghan security forces have struggled to counter attacks from the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most NATO combat troops in 2014.

President Ashraf Ghani said earlier in November that nearly 29,000 Afghan police and soldiers had been killed since the start of 2015 when they took over primary responsibility for Afghanistan’s security.

During the same period, 58 American were killed, he said.