Taliban resumes deadly assault after rejecting truce extension

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan officials said Wednesday that at least 13 soldiers were killed and eight more wounded in attacks by Taliban militants in the western Badghis province. It was the first major assault by the Afghan Taliban after a brief truce with the government for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday over the weekend.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense released a statement confirming the Taliban attacks and the death toll. The statement said reinforcements had been deployed to the region and the fight was ongoing.

Another regional official told the Associated Press that 30 soldiers were killed when the Taliban fighters targeted two checkpoints in Badghis. Abdul Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council in Badghis, said fighters first attacked the checkpoints then ambushed arriving reinforcements in Bala Murghab district.

He said the attack started Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning.

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Afghanistan's national government or military did not immediately confirm the higher death toll.

There were casualties among the insurgents, Beg said, but couldn't provide an exact number.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban are active in Badghis and have repeatedly claimed attacks against Afghan security forces there.

The Taliban observed the cease-fire over the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday but rejected the government's request to extend it.