Afghanistan: Taliban attack Kandahar military base, at least 43 soldiers killed

Afghanistan: Taliban attack Kandahar military base, at least 43 soldiers killed

Afghanistan: Taliban attack Kandahar military base, at least 43 soldiers killed

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the militant group, said the attack began with a suicide auto bomb followed by an assault that overran the base.

The attack was two days after a similar Humvee bombing at a police training center in the eastern province of Paktia killed police and civilians.

At least 10 Taliban were also reported killed in the battle, which occurred in Maiwand, a district that neighbours volatile Helmand province.

"The whole base is destroyed", said Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a ministry spokesman.

Other insurgents then stormed the base - which resulted in a firefight between Taliban members and security forces.

- 43 out of 60 soldiers at the base were killed, 9 wounded and 6 still missing.

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The brazen assault on Thursday began with two suicide auto bombings, setting off several hours of fighting.

The official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militants failed to overrun the base as reinforcement arrived at the scene.

Standing at a post overlooking Afghan villages across the border, Zakaria said troops and paramilitary forces had defeated militants by launching several operations in the troubled region, which was a longtime stronghold for al-Qaida and the Taliban, as well as criminal gangs.

The bulky off-road vehicles, taken from Afghan army bases in previous attacks, create more shrapnel when they explode and make it harder for Afghan guards to tell whether an approaching suicide bomber is with the Taliban, government security officials said.

The deadliest of Tuesday's assaults was on a police compound in the city of Gardez in Paktia province, where Taliban militants disguised as police detonated three explosive-packed vehicles.

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