3 soldiers, 11 militants killed in Afghan military base attack: official

Huang Panyue

TIRIN KOT, Afghanistan, March 20 (Xinhua) -- At least three army soldiers and 11 militants were killed during a fierce clash on outskirts of Tirin Kot, capital of Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan overnight, a local official said on Monday.

"Several armed militants stormed an army base in Khorma locality of Tirin Kot, triggering a clash that left three soldiers and 11 militants dead Sunday night," Doust Mohammad Nayab, provincial government spokesman, told Xinhua.

The rebels involved in the fighting were the extremist Taliban, he said.

The attackers were also believed to have taken control of the base for hours before the additional forces' arrival at early hours of Monday.

Several army soldiers were also captured by the militants following the attack, Obaidullah Barakzai, a representative from Uruzgan to Wolesi Jirga, or the lower house of parliament, told Xinhua via phone earlier on the day.

"The additional forces arrived at the scene early Monday. They are trying to secure the base and they launched a search operation to locate and rescue the seized soldiers," he said.

Violence has been on the rise since the drawdown of foreign forces over the past two years as the Afghan security forces struggle against a surge in attacks by anti-government fighters.

On Friday, one army soldier was killed and over 20 people were wounded after a Taliban truck bombing struck an army base in eastern Khost province.



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