KABUL At least 18 soldiers were killed and another two wounded on Saturday in an early morning attack by the Taliban on a military base in Farah province of western Afghanistan, an official source informed EFE.
A group of insurgents attacked a base in Bala Baluk district around 3:00 am, leading to clashes between the Taliban and the security forces, according to Defense Ministry spokesperson General Dawlat Waziri.
Consequently, 18 soldiers died and another two were wounded, while the insurgents too suffered a significant number of casualties, said Waziri without offering an exact number of people dead among the Taliban.
The followers of Mullah Haibatullah claimed the attack through a message on Twitter by their spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid, who claimed that they managed to capture two soldiers alive, and also seized weapons and vehicles.
Since the formal end of NATOs combat mission in January 2015, the Afghan government has been steadily losing ground to insurgents and now controls only 57 percent of the country, according to the US Special Inspector General for Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR).
However, the number of civilian victims of the conflict in Afghanistan decreased in 2017 by nine percent from 2016 for the first time in six years, although there are an increasing number of people killed or wounded in suicide attacks.
According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan data released last week, civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2017 came to 10,453 comprising 3,438 dead and 7,015 wounded compared to 11,434 casualties 3,510 dead, 7,924 injured in 2016.