Tue, 16 Oct 2018

The bodies of dozens of Afghan soldiers have been found at a base that Taliban fighters attacked last week in the southern province of Uruzgan, military officials say.

'We have discovered and transported 40 bodies from the area so far,' Chinartu district Governor Faiz Mohammad said on August 9.

He added that a number of Afghan security personnel from the base remain missing following the Taliban attack on the base on August 3.

News of the attack was not immediately reported, and details have surfaced only in the past two days.

On August 9, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said 27 Afghan soldiers were killed and five wounded in the assault. He said the base was back under government control but had suffered significant damage and loss of weapons.

Radmanish said at least 60 Taliban fighters were also killed in clashes at the base and elsewhere in the district.

A local official said some Afghan soldiers appeared to have been shot after they were captured by the Taliban, but the claim could not be independently confirmed.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, asserted that 46 Afghan soldiers died in the clashes at the base and a number of checkpoints and 'not killed in Taliban detention centers.'

The Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014.

Taliban leaders have ignored an offer by the government of direct peace negotiations.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa

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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