KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan border guards slept early Friday in their remote southern Afghanistan base as a Taliban Infiltrator climbed onto a watchtower. A moment ago, a single post had left the post to wake his successor.
When the new guard entered the tower, he was shot dead by the inmate hiding inside, officials in Kandahar province said Saturday.
Then, moments later, Taliban fighters rammed a stolen, explosive-packed police through the base's entrance, they said. Once there, the attackers shot and killed security troops who had survived the first explosion.
"Nobody survived," he said.
Officials said the insurgents had fled after plundering the base in Spinboldak district across the border from the Pakistani town of Quetta about 60 miles south where the Taliban leadership is stationed. Mohammad Yousuf Yunasi, a member of the Provincial Council, confirmed the attack, but said he had few details. He said such ambushes are possible because Taliban fighters are often better equipped than border security forces. Some would have night vision goggles.
"This is the main reason why the police suffer high losses," said Mr. Yunasi.
Officials said at least one of the Taliban attackers, the Humvee driver, was killed.
The small base attack was the last of a series of deadly Taliban raids by Afghan security guards. Fighting during the conflict, now in its 18th year, is usually limited during the harsh winter months, but they have emerged from the traditional fighting season as the United States and the Taliban strive for power in the ongoing peace talks. A series of outrageous attacks an attack on a government intelligence agency that killed at least 40 people. However, the government has also reported that Taliban fighters and commanders are being targeted more, especially by American and Afghan air strikes. They say hundreds of Taliban fighters have been killed in recent weeks.
The next confirmed round of peace negotiations with the Taliban is scheduled for February 25 in Doha, Qatar. Last month, US Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said US and Taliban officials had agreed in principle to the framework agreement, in which the insurgents would guarantee that Afghanistan was not a safe haven for terrorists.
An agreement could lead to a complete withdrawal of American troops against other concessions from the Taliban.
Mr. Khalilzad said these concessions must be to agree to a ceasefire and to negotiate directly with the Afghan government, something the Taliban resisted in the past. On Saturday, during a security conference in Munich, Ghani said that since 2014, the US-led NATO alliance has ended its combat mission in Afghanistan, the Afghan government forces have been carrying the brunt of the victims.
American War, "he said.
Mr. Ghani said in January that 45,000 Afghan security forces had died fighting since the end of 2014.