This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Afghan government forces claim to have killed 65 Taliban militants during a battle in the nation’s eastern provinces as fighting continues to rage between the two sides while they hold peace talks.
The latest battle took place on September 23 after the Taliban fighters stormed a military headquarters building in the Wazi Khwa district of Paktika Province, local officials said.
Paktika police spokesman Shah Mohammad Arian claimed 65 Taliban fighters were killed and 35 others wounded during the battle, which he said lasted several hours.
The government forces suffered three deaths, while six were wounded, he said.
Bakhtiar Gul Zadran, the head of the Paktika provincial council, confirmed the information.
The Taliban did not immediately comment.
A day earlier, the Taliban said its fighters had killed 28 Afghan paramilitary policemen in Uruzgan in southern Afghanistan.
The bloodshed comes as Taliban and Afghan government negotiators are meeting in Doha, where they are trying to find a way to end 19 years of war.
The peace talks began on September 12 to find an agreement on a power-sharing structure and permanent truce.
Negotiations are expected to take months, if not years, as the two sides are far apart on many issues.