Sun, 21 Apr 2019

KABUL -- Afghan officials say a Taliban attack on an Afghan military base to the west of Kabul killed 45 members of the Afghan security forces.

Taliban militants carried out the assault in Maidan Shahr, the capital of Maidan Wardak Province, on January 21.

The assault began when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and three gunmen stormed the compound, igniting a firefight with Afghan security forces, official said.

All three gunmen were said to have been killed.

An unidentified Defense Ministry official in Kabul was quoted as saying that the base housed a training center of Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

That official also said that as many as 126 people were killed in the attack.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Afghan Taliban was behind the attack -- the latest in near-daily assaults by the militants who now hold sway in nearly half of Afghanistan.

The violence came despite stepped-up efforts by the United States to find a negotiated end to the country's 17-year war.

Efforts to negotiate a peace deal to end the fighting in Afghanistan have been beset by disagreement, with the Taliban refusing to hold direct talks with Afghan officials.

With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

RFE/RL's Radio Azadi is the leading media outlet in Afghanistan today, reaching more than 60 percent of the Afghan population across the country with its radio and Internet programs.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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