Updated: 02/23/2014 14:31 | By Agence France-Presse

Taliban kill 20 Afghan soldiers in predawn attack

The Taliban stormed an Afghan army outpost in the eastern Kunar province bordering Pakistan early Sunday, killing 20 soldiers and kidnapping seven, an official said.


Taliban kill 20 Afghan soldiers in predawn attack

Afghan soldiers are seen carrying ammunition for the D30 Howitzer gun during a training session at Forward Base Honaker Miracle, at Watahpur District in Kunar province, on April 17, 2013 - by Manjunath Kiran

The volatile border area is dominated by militants who often use improvised explosive devices to target soldiers, but Sunday's attack saw the highest casualty count in a single incident in recent months.

The attack occurred in the Ghaziabad district of Kunar province, provincial governor Shujah-Ul Mulk Jalala told AFP. The Taliban later issued a statement claiming responsibility.

The governor said "some" of the soldiers in the post were thought to have aided the attackers, though this could not be verified by an independent source and the Taliban did not mention insider help in their statement.

A hunt was underway to release the kidnapped troopers, a defence ministry official in Kabul said.

Casualties among Afghan soldiers and police have increased in recent years as they take more responsibility in the fight against insurgents before their Western allies, the US and NATO troops, leave under a US plan by the end of the year.

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