“At the start, a Taliban suicide bomber drove toward the base but was destroyed before reaching its target,” the statement said, adding, “The Taliban attack was repelled and they suffered casualties as well,” tolonews.com reported.
A security source said earlier that the clashes started at 12:00 a.m. (local time) the night before and continued into Wednesday morning.
“First, a car bomb detonated close to the base and then a number of attackers started fighting with security forces,” the source said.
At least 34 people were killed on November 29 in Ghazni Province in two separate suicide bombings in Afghanistan that targeted a military base and a provincial chief, officials said, according to apnews.com.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks, which took place as Afghan government representatives and the Taliban hold face-to-face talks in Qatar for the first time to end the country’s decades-long war.
A total of 31 soldiers were killed and 24 others wounded when the attacker drove a military humvee full of explosives onto an army commando base before detonating the car bomb, according to an official in Afghanistan’s National Security Council, who spoke anonymously because he was not permitted to speak directly to the media.
In addition, local officials in Balkh Province said Taliban militants captured and shot dead seven Afghan National Police members on Tuesday, khaama.com wrote.
Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the governor of Balkh, told the media on Wednesday, that the incident took place at around 12:00 p.m. (local time) in Chahar Bolak District of Balkh Province.
Farhad added that Taliban militants killed the seven policemen immediately following their capture.
Some districts in Balkh Province are under threat from Taliban attacks. The group’s militants have launched several operations to seize these districts, but have failed in their bids.
Earlier, a research study, conducted as part of the Costs of War Project at Britain’s Brown University, revealed the number of civilians killed in US-led airstrikes across Afghanistan climbed by nearly 330 percent between 2016 and 2019, and 1,357 civilians perished in such strikes in the 2015-2019 period, according to Press TV.
President Donald Trump has ordered the partial drawdown of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to be completed by January 15, five days before he leaves office.
The pullout would leave about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and 2,500 in Iraq at the beginning of the next US administration.
In an agreement reached between the US and the Taliban on February 29, the Trump administration promised to pull out all its troops by mid-2021 in return for the Taliban to stop their attacks on US-led occupation foreign forces in Afghanistan.
The Taliban agreed to negotiate a permanent cease-fire and a power-sharing formula with the Afghan government.
Representatives from the government in Kabul and those from the Taliban held the first round of the much-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations in the Qatari capital of Doha on September 12. The talks were also attended by politicians from Afghanistan, international organizations and the US.
The intra-Afghan talks were set to take place in March, but were repeatedly delayed over a prisoner exchange agreement made as part of the February deal between the Taliban and the US.
Afghanistan’s government and Taliban reached a preliminary deal last week that sets out rules for further talks, the first written agreement between the two sides since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
The US invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban regime in 2001 on the pretext of fighting terrorism following the September 11 attacks in New York. Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since then.