7 killed in Taliban pre-dawn attack in N. Afghanistan

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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Two Afghan soldiers and five Taliban militants were killed and 11 people from the two sides were wounded during pre-dawn clashes in northern Kunduz province, a local official said on Wednesday.

"The clashes erupted after Taliban militants stormed joint Afghan army and police checkpoint in Qarghaz locality of Iamam Sahib district early Wednesday. Five security force members and six militants were wounded during the fighting," district chief Mahbubullah Sayyedi told Xinhua.

The area was secured after the deadly gunbattle and the wounded people were shifted to a hospital in provincial capital Kunduz city, the official added.

The northern Afghan provinces have been the scene of heavy clashes between Taliban and security forces for years.

On Sunday night, four civilians and five police officers and six militants were killed and eight people wounded after Taliban attacked Iamam Sahib district's police station.

The Afghan troops remain in control of most of Afghanistan's population centers and all of 34 provincial capitals, but Taliban insurgents control large portions of rural areas, staging coordinated large-scale attacks against Afghan cities and districts constantly. Enditem

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