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Taliban use armored vehicles to attack Afghan forces

TALIBAN USE ARMORED VEHICLES TO ATTACK AFGHAN FORCES

Multiple casualties are feared as the Taliban militants used armored vehicles to storm the security ring and surrounding check posts in restive Helmand province Thursday morning.

Local officials told Anadolu Agency the militants hit the barriers at the security ring in Grishk district with two explosive-laden armored vehicles.

Abdul Salam, spokesman for the provincial police headquarters, said two Afghan soldiers and three policemen were injured in the attack. "A third vehicle bombing was prevented by the security forces. Fresh ground and air forces have been dispatched to the area to quell the attack", he said.

This is the first time the militants have used armored vehicles -- which were snatched from the security forces during previous clashes -- for suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Lying south to the Taliban's birthplace Kandahar, Helmand remains one of the most insecure provinces in Afghanistan with the militants controlling large swaths of land.

Earlier this week, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) backed by the U.S. airpower managed to reclaim restive Nawa district in Helmand after over a year when the Taliban overrun it.

Umar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, has also confirmed that six members of the ANSF got wounded in the attack.

He claimed 18 attackers were killed in retaliation.

The Taliban, however, have made claims of killing up to 30 policemen, and overrunning a military base and many check posts.

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