Dozens killed as Taliban launches new assaults on Afghan bases


Reports said two Taliban suicide bombers in Humvee trucks targeted the military base.

The Afghan Defense Ministry says 43 soldiers have been killed and nine wounded in a Taliban attack on an army camp in the southern province of Kandahar.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - An Afghan Army unit in the south of the country was nearly completely wiped out Thursday, defense officials said, in a Taliban attack that used what is becoming one of the group's deadliest tactics: packing vehicles captured from security forces with explosives and driving them into military and police compounds.

Smoke rises from police headquarters while Afghan security forces keep watch after a suicide auto bomber and gunmen attacked the provincial police headquarters in Gardez, Afghanistan on October 17, 2017.

"At around 2.50 the morning (2220GMT Wednesday), a group of attackers attacked the Afghan National Army base in Maiwand district of Kandahar".

The Afghan Defencee Ministry confirmed that at least 43 people had died. Other militants pushed in and started a firefight with army soldiers.

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Separately Thursday, militants besieged a police headquarters in the southeastern province of Ghazni, attacking it for the second time this week.

Thursday's attacks take the number of suicide and gun assaults on security installations this week to four and increases the total death toll to more than 120, including soldiers, police and civilians.

The attacks included assaults on a military hospital in Kabul in March which may have killed up to 100 people, and on a base in Mazar-i-Sharif in April which left 144 people dead.

Some 10 Taliban fighters were also killed, Glasse adds.

It also said it was behind the suicide attack on a hospital in Quetta that killed at least 74 people.

The attacks come after the White House has given Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, "more authority to attack the Taliban, more warplanes and drones to mount punishing airstrikes - and a few thousand more American troops to advise the Afghans", as NPR's Tom Bowman reported earlier this month.