More than 100 Afghan forces killed in Taliban attack

Taliban kill 'more than 100' in attack on Afghan military base

They killed dozens of people and repelled two assaults by Afghan troops before they were killed.

Taliban insurgents, fighting to drive out worldwide forces from Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, which spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said killed 190 people.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Monday that talks between Taliban leaders and USA officials had resumed in Qatar.

The attack, the most serious against Afghan forces in months, occurred on the same day that Taliban representatives met Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, in Qatar.

"The main building inside the base collapsed and most of the bodies were under the destroyed building", he said.

According to the local government officials, the attack was carried out in Maidan Shahr city, the provincial capital of Maidan Wardak province.

A provincial security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, told the AP that he personally counted as many as 75 dead bodies at the base. "It is frustrating to hide the facts", said a senior interior ministry official in Kabul. Ghani also ordered an investigation, the statement added.

Fights between security forces and Taliban fighters have continued to intensify across the country during the freezing Afghan winter, which traditionally experiences a reduction in combat.

Yarmand said it was hard to believe that the country's vaunted security agency - the best equipped and best trained - could have lost such a high number of personnel in a single attack and that there must have been serious negligence on someone's part.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told NPR that the two sides agreed to meet after settling an agenda that included a discussion of the end of USA occupation of Afghanistan. "If such attacks continue, there must be a cease-fire agreement first".

The recent skirmishes come as the Taliban announced a resumption of talks with United States officials in Qatar as the two sides discuss a possible peace deal that could pave the way for the insurgents' participation in the next government.

After months of reports that the Taliban controls record amounts of territory and is killing record numbers of Afghan civilians and troops, the national defense forces, supported by US advisers and air combat missions, have achieved notable successes.

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