7 Afghan soldiers killed in Taliban attack on military base

At least, seven Afghan soldiers were killed and six others wounded in a Taliban attack on Tuesday in a military base in the North of the country, the defence ministry said.

The ministry officials said the attack took place at around 4:30 a.m (1200 GMT), targeting the Khili Guli military base, located in Dawlat Abad district, one of the eight volatile districts in Balkh province.

The ministry said three intelligence officers were among those injured at the base, manned by both the Afghan army and the intelligence agency.

The Provincial councilors, Mohammad Hadid and Zabihullah Kakar, confirmed the attack but said the exact number of casualties was unclear.

Kakar said the military base accommodated around 20 soldiers and two armoured vehicles. Taliban fighters destroyed the vehicle with a rocket and took the rest of the military equipment, including another vehicle.

However, Taliban spokesman claimed that 20 soldiers were killed, six injured and four taken captive. The militant group usually exaggerates such casualty figures.

On Monday, a U.S. soldier was killed in Northern Kunduz province as U.S. and Afghan forces prepared to conduct a raid.

However, the latest attacks came as reports suggest that U.S. and Taliban negotiators were edging closer to signing an agreement.

According to Afghan officials, the governments in Washington and Kabul are expecting Taliban insurgents to announce a ceasefire before any agreement is inked. (dpa/NAN)