Thirty Afghan National Army (ANA) Soldiers were killed as Taliban fighters overtook a military base earlier Wednesday, reports Reuters.
The ANA base is located in northwestern Afghanistan close to the Turkmenistan border.
“Large numbers of Taliban came from several directions,” said a local Afghan political leader while speaking to Reuters. “After hours of heavy fighting 30 Afghan security forces were killed and the Taliban captured the base.”
An additional four Afghan government soldiers were killed this morning in separate attacks in the same region, reports Reuters. The casualties are the result of EID explosions and skirmishes with Taliban militants. The BBC reports that 16 Taliban fighters have been killed in the last 24 hours during various engagements in Northwestern Afghanistan.
This is the first large-scale attack launched by the Taliban on Afghan government forces since the end of the three-day ceasefire agreement. The ceasefire took place last weekend during the beginning of the Islamic holiday of Eid. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said his forces would continue the ceasefire for an additional 10 days, however, Taliban leaders stated they would resume hostilities.
This attack may be just an example of what lies ahead for Afghanistan, which has been at war for 17 years. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, who is slated to take command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan later this year recently told Congress that he “does not see an end to the 17-year war any time soon.”