Taliban militants killed at least 16 Afghan police and two civilians in western Badghis province after their three-day cease-fire for the Eid al-Fitr holiday ended at the weekend, officials said on Friday.
The Taliban, fighting to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster, resumed their campaign on Thursday after rejecting President Ashraf Ghani's request to extend their cease-fire beyond Sunday. On Wednesday, they killed at least 30 soldiers and captured a military base in Badghis.
Ghani extended by 10 days his unilateral ceasefire, initially due to end on Wednesday. The Taliban observed a cease-fire over the three-day holiday but rejected the government's request to extend it. Some critics have said Ghani's cease-fire allowed the Taliban to freely enter government-held areas and plan attacks.
The local Daesh affiliate and the more firmly established Taliban carry out regular attacks around the country, as well as in Kabul, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces and Daesh targeting members of the country's the Shiite minority, whom the affiliate perceives as apostates.
The relentless assaults underscore the struggles that Afghan security forces have faced to reign in the militant groups since the United States and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. Both groups want to establish strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan.
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