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21 Jan, 2019 13:47

Over 100 security killed in Taliban attack on Afghan military training center – reports

Taliban militants killed over 100 members of the Afghan security forces in an attack on a military compound in the central province of Maidan Wardak, Reuters reported citing a source in the military.

“We have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the military training center,” an official told Reuters. The government said earlier that 12 people had been killed, but declined to comment further.

A Taliban suicide bomber drove a car bomb into the base following a firefight between the militants and security forces, Afghanistan’s Pajhwok News reported. The attack took place shortly after 8am local time on Monday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, also claiming on Twitter that the explosives-laden vehicle destroyed “the entire base” and trapped people under rubble.

Video footage, purportedly of the aftermath, shows buildings in the compound collapsed and charred.

US President Trump announced a partial withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan last month, to take place on an indeterminate timeline. US forces have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001, and the conflict has tipped in favor of the militants in recent months.

The group control or influence around half of the country’s districts, with that number fluctuating month-by-month. NATO’s commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Scott Miller, said late last year that the Taliban will likely not be defeated, and that the country needs a “political solution.”

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Meanwhile, Taliban militants have continued their campaign of attacks and suicide bombings against US and Afghan government forces. A Taliban car bomb targeted a convoy carrying the governor of Logar province on Sunday, killing eight security officers but leaving the governor unharmed.

One week earlier, another car bomb killed at least four people and wounded 90 in Kabul. At the beginning of the month, more than 30 Afghan forces and civilians were killed in coordinated raids in the northwestern province of Badghis and a marketplace bombing in Paktika province.

The Taliban rejected peace talks with the US earlier this month, refusing to include the Afghan government, which they call a “puppet” government, in the discussions. However, hours after the Maidan Wardak attack on Monday, the militants announced on Twitter that talks with US officials in Qatar had restarted.

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