40 soldiers killed in Afghan army base clashes
Published: 11:38 AM, 2 March 2019
At least 40 military personnel were killed and several others wounded during ongoing clashes between Taliban militants and Afghan forces inside an army base in the southern province of Helmand, a local source said on Friday.
The clashes erupted after over 20 Taliban militants attacked the Corps 215 Maywand in Shorab area of Helmand in the wee hours of Friday.
"About 10 assailants were also killed during blasts and exchange of gunfire. The Afghan National Army's Special Operations Forces are trying to kill or capture the remaining armed militants," the source told Xinhua anonymously.
Sporadic clashes were ongoing as of late Friday when troops were making slow advance during the clearance operation, he said.
"Unarmed military and service personnel are trapped in buildings seized by the militants. Troops are doing their best to rescue the people caught in the compounds," he said.
At least three suicide bomb blasts struck main buildings of the base. A senior military officer was among the killed, according to the source.
The assailants penetrated the Afghan military base after heavy snow hit most parts of the country.
The Taliban militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Local media Tolo News TV reported that the militants stormed the premise from three sides of the heavily guarded camp.
But the US Forces Afghanistan tweeted after Taliban claimed killing several Afghan and foreign forces, "More lies. The attack was repelled by the brave Afghan Security Forces."
Helmand, notorious for poppy growing, is also a known Taliban stronghold. - Xinhua
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