Taliban kill at least 43 Afghan troops as they storm base
KABUL - Reuters
The Afghan Taliban stormed a military base in the south of the country killing at least 43 troops yesterday, the Defense Ministry said, with the militants saying they had killed 60.
Of 60 soldiers manning the base in the province of Kandahar, 43 were killed, nine were wounded and six were missing after the militants attacked in the middle of the night, the ministry said in a statement.
At least 10 Taliban militants were also reported killed in the battle, which occurred in Maiwand, a district that neighbors volatile Helmand province.
The attack began when a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden American-made Humvee armoured vehicle, likely captured from Afghan security forces, into the gate of the base.
That began an hours-long assault by Taliban gunmen, which was interrupted by a second Humvee breaking all the way into the base and detonating inside, he said.
The base itself was left in ruins, officials said.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the militant group, said the attack began with a suicide car bomb followed by an assault that overran the base.
The militants had killed at least 60 Afghan soldiers and wounded many, he said.