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Taliban Overrun Afghan Army Base, Kill 17 Troops

15 August 2018

It is also plagued by roadside bombs planted by insurgents, which are usually intended for security forces but often kill and wound civilians.

Analysts have said the assault on Ghazni was a military and psychological victory against the government in Kabul, proving the insurgents have the strength to strike a strategically vital city near the capital at will and remain entrenched there for days.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, saying 57 Afghan soldiers had surrendered to the Taliban while 17 others were captured in battle.

Afghan officials say a Taliban assault on two adjacent checkpoints in the northern Baghlan province has killed 30 soldiers and police. At least 37 people were initially reported dead and 47 others injured, a lot of them students, but there were unconfirmed reports of much higher casualties. But he said wounded people are still arriving at the city's only hospital, which has been overwhelmed by the casualties.

At least 25 people were killed when a suicide attacker struck an education centre in a minority Shiite area of western Kabul Wednesday, officials said, the latest assault in Afghanistan's war-weary capital.

There is still fighting on the outskirts of the city, which lies 150km (90 miles) south of Kabul.

About 20 percent of the population in Ghazni depend on the city water system, which has been down since the beginning of fighting.

Afghan forces are conducting clearing operations in the city, but hundreds of civilians have fled, trying to escape the fierce fighting, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The Taliban had besieged the base, which housed about 140 Afghan troops, for three days before the massive push late on Monday night, said the local provincial council chief, Mohammad Tahir Rahmani. The Taliban have seized several districts across the country in recent years and carry out near-daily attacks targeting Afghan security forces.

The particular base is located in a remote part of the province, and was receiving supplies via air for months.

A Taliban attack on a military outpost in the northern province of Baghlan has killed as many as 44 Afghan police and soldiers, provincial officials said, as the insurgents kept up pressure on government forces.

At least 100 security forces were killed in the fight for Ghazni, officials have said, with unconfirmed fears that at least as many civilians died.

Taliban Overrun Afghan Army Base, Kill 17 Troops