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Published On: Thu, Oct 19th, 2017

Afghan Army and Taliban suffer heavy casualties after coordinated attack on Kandahar base

nsnbc : The Afghan Army and the Taliban suffered heavy casualties in a coordinated attack by the Taliban on an army base in the southern Kandahar province. The attack was started Wednesday night when two Humvee armored personnel carriers packed with explosives were detonated near the army base. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded with a message styled to the Taliban saying were are determined to stay here as long as it takes.

Afghanistan_Afghan army_archivesThe blasts were setting of several hours of fighting between Army troops and Taliban fighters. By early Thursday morning official Afghan sources reported that at least 41 soldiers had been killed.

Khalid Pashtun, a member of parliament from Kandahar province, provided the toll from the attack. An Afghan security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, confirmed the toll.

The Taliban claimed the attack in a media statement. Afghan forces have struggled to combat a resurgent Taliban since the U.S. and NATO forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a Taliban ambush in the northern Balkh province late Wednesday killed six police, according to Shir Jan Durani, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Rex Tillerson_USA_Secretary of State Rex Tillerson_2017_archivesThe United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a message to the Taliban, has said that the United States will be in Afghanistan as long as it takes until they change their mind. The comment came during a speech before the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday. The remarks by Tillerson came as efforts are underway to encourage the Taliban group to participate in peace talks and end the ongoing violence through reconciliation.

The attack came also against the recent move to re-start the 4-party talks on Afghanistan in Oman. The meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group consisting Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States kicked in Muscat, Oman on Monday to help revive the Afghan peace talks.

However, the Taliban group has so far rejected to participate in any form of peace negotiations. The latest remarks by Tillerson warning the Taliban regarding the persistent presence of the US in Afghanistan comes as the US President Donald Trump also vowed to continue the war against the terrorism as part of the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. The new strategy was announced by President Trump late in the month of August.

F/AK – nsnbc 19.10.2017

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