18 Afghan Soldiers Killed in Taliban Assault on Military Base

Taliban militants killed 18 soldiers in a pre-dawn assault on a military base in Afghanistan’s western Farah province, the Ministry of Defense said, in the deadliest of a string of attacks that shook Afghanistan on Saturday.

Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said two Afghan soldiers were also injured in the 3 a.m. raid on a small base in Balabluk district.

A Defense Ministry statement said “a large number” of insurgents were killed during the confrontation, but did not specify how many.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousof Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to journalists.

Other attacks were carried out in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province and the national capital, Kabul, where a pair of deadly attacks last month — a bomb in an ambulance and a hotel siege — had already renewed doubts over Afghan authorities’ ability to keep people safe.

Civilian casualties
Three people were killed and five others injured in Saturday’s suicide attack in the Shashdarak area of Kabul, Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told CNN. All the casualties were civilians, he said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the attack happened around 8:30 a.m. local time near the Kabul Green Zone, approximately one kilometer (about half a mile) away from where the US Embassy, NATO and other diplomatic compounds are located. The suicide attacker was on foot, he said.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ehsan Popalzai