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A Taliban attack in Afghanistan’s northern Takhar Province has killed 17 local militiamen, local officials said on December 29.

The attack apparently targeted a local militia commander who escaped unharmed, a spokesman for the governor of Takhar Province said.

The area is currently under the control of government forces, the spokesman added.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

On December 28, 10 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on a military base in southern Helmand Province.

Taliban militants continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as government officials — even as the group holds peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with negotiating an end to the military conflict in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP