Militants attack Afghan army base, kill 10 soldiers

Kabul

At least 10 Afghan soldiers were killed when militants attacked their army base in the southern province of Kandahar, the defence ministry said Tuesday, in the latest attack on Western-backed forces.
The assault in Shah Wali Kot district late Monday came just a day after 20 Afghan policemen were killed when Taliban fighters stormed their outposts in the neighbouring province of Zabul.
“Last night the enemies of Afghanistan attacked Achakzai camp of army corps 205 in Shah Wali Kot district,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
“Ten brave army soldiers were martyred and nine others wounded. The wounded soldiers were taken to hospital and they are in stable condition.”
The attack marks another setback for NATO-backed Afghan forces.
It comes just a month after the Taliban killed at least 135 soldiers in the northern province of Balkh in the deadliest insurgent attack on an Afghan military base since 2001.
During the Zabul attack early Sunday, local officials made desperate calls to Afghan television stations to seek attention because they were unable to contact senior authorities for help, highlighting the disarray in security ranks.
Taliban militants launched their annual “spring offensive” in late April, heralding a surge in fighting as the US tries to craft a new Afghan strategy and NATO considers sending more troops to break the stalemate against the resurgent militants.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last month warned of “another tough year” for security forces in Afghanistan.—AFP

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