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100 Feared Dead in Taliban Attack on Military Base

Group says peace talks with US are ongoing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2019 12:29 AM CST
This Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, photo shows a collapsed building of a military base in Maidan Shar, capital of Maidan Wardak province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A Taliban assault on a military base and police training center in a province just outside the Afghan capital on Monday killed at least 45 people, most of them military personnel, Afghan officials say. There are fears, however, that the death toll is even higher. Some government officials estimate the toll could be well over 100, the Guardian reports. Khawanin Sultani, a council member in Maidan Wardak province, tells the AP that the attack also left more than 70 wounded. The province of Maidan Wardak is just outside of Kabul and the base also serves as a training center for a pro-government militia.

Sultani says a Taliban suicide bomber first drove a Humvee into the base and detonated his load as he rammed the vehicle into the main building there. After that, four other attackers engaged in a shootout with Afghan troops; all the attackers were killed. The Taliban, who now hold sway in almost half of Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to the media. In a separate statement, the insurgents said they met again with US representatives to discuss "ending the invasion of Afghanistan" in talks that would continue on Tuesday. They are meeting in Qatar, where the Taliban have a political office.

(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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