Sat, 25 Jan 2020

Taliban Bomber Kills 9 Afghan Soldiers in Helmand

Voice of America
09 Dec 2019, 23:35 GMT+10

ISLAMABAD - A Taliban suicide bomber Monday detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near a military base in southern Afghanistan, killing at least nine soldiers and injuring several others.

Officials said the insurgent bombing occurred near the center of Nad Ali district in Helmand province, where most of the territory is controlled or contested by the Taliban. The blast reportedly destroyed the Afghan National Army (ANA) facility.

Rescue workers were trying to retrieve bodies from the rubles and the death toll could increase, Barali Nazari, the district chief, told VOA.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, claiming it killed dozens of security forces and destroyed several armored vehicles, though insurgent claims are often inflated.

Separately, a Taliban raid in the volatile eastern Ghazni province late on Sunday killed at least six ANA soldiers, the provincial police chief, Khalid Wardak, told VOA.

The violence comes as American and Taliban negotiators continued their meetings in Qatar Monday. The two adversaries in the 18-year-old Afghan war returned to the negotiating table last week, three months after President Donald Trump had suspended the process.

U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad restarted the latest round of talks with a mission to persuade the Taliban to reduce violence and enter into intra-Afghan negotiations for permanently ending hostilities in Afghanistan.

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