Taliban Overrun Afghan Forces in Northeast, Killing 18

Officials said on Monday that dozens of Taliban fighters aided by foreign militants seized Afghan government checkpoints in a previously stable northeastern province as the annual spring fighting season began in the 13-year-old war. Afghan officials said government forces later took back the district of Jorm in Badakhshan province but said they need reinforcements from the central government in Kabul. The battle in Badakhshan killed at least 18 Afghan police and soldiers, eight of them beheaded, and left 10 wounded. Fighting this year is being closely watched after the end of NATO forces' combat mission left Afghanistan's army and police to fight the resurgent Taliban on their own.