Taliban attack on Afghan army compound kills 6 troops

Taliban attack on Afghan army compound kills 6 troops
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Six Afghan soldiers were killed in a suicide car bombing targeting an army compound, The Associated Press reported Thursday, citing Afghanistan's defense ministry.

The car detonated outside a small military base in the country's northern Balkh province, prompting a shootout between insurgents and Afghan forces, according to the AP.

The defense ministry said in a statement that three Afghan soldiers were wounded in the explosion, which it characterized as a "terrorist attack."

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The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility and said they inflicted a greater number of casualties and captured both the base and large numbers of munitions and weapons. The Afghan government disputed those claims, saying the Taliban was not in control of the base.

The Taliban has staged near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces in recent weeks.

The group claimed responsibility earlier this week for a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz on Sunday, saying it resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier.

The Pentagon said that 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Michael Goble died Monday after his unit was engaged in combat the previous day in Kunduz. The incident is under investigation, the Pentagon said.

Goble, whose remains were returned to the U.S. on Christmas Day, was the 20th combat fatality in Afghanistan this year, making 2019 the deadliest year for American forces in that country since 2014.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE has previously expressed interest in reducing the number of U.S. troops involved in the Afghan war, the longest in U.S. history. During a surprise Thanksgiving visit to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Trump announced the resumption of peace talks with the Taliban after negotiations broke down earlier this year.