Afghan air force raids kill 80 insurgents in attack.
Kandahar: At least 26 Afghan soldiers have been killed in a Taliban attack on a military base in southern Kandahar province, the defence ministry said on Wednesday, the latest blow to the country’s struggling security forces.
The Afghan air force said it carried out strikes backing up soldiers on the ground during the hours-long attack on the base, which began on Tuesday and ended in the early hours of Wednesday.
At least 13 soldiers were also wounded in the attack, MOD spokesman General Dawlat Waziri said. The Afghan forces “bravely resisted”, he added, killing more than 80 insurgents.
The camp was located in the remote Karzali area of Khakrez district, near the border with restive Helmand, where the Taliban hold vast swathes of territory.
“We conducted multiple airstrikes killing dozens of them. Our helicopters transported wounded soldiers to hospitals in Kandahar,” said General Raziq Shirzai, the provincial air force commander.
One senior army source said up to 12 soldiers are still missing following the assault, which he described as a “very heavy attack”.
The insurgents stole guns and vehicles as they retreated, he said.
Residents described hearing the airstrikes, and said the attack was launched by a 30-strong convoy carrying “hundreds” of Taliban who assaulted the base from multiple directions.
The insurgents claimed the attack via their Twitter account.