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Gunmen attacked a military air base in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, officials said on Saturday.

Khost police spokesman Faizullah Ghairat said that three militants had attacked the base, close to the border with Pakistan. One had been killed, while two others were still holding out, he said.

There was no immediate comment from the headquarters of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul.

The incident comes just ahead of the normal start of the spring fighting season, when warmer weather brings increased operations by both insurgents and government forces.

Afghan and US officials have warned that Afghanistan will see increased fighting this year as the Taliban steps up an insurgency which has cut the area controlled by the government to below 60pc.

Earlier this week, the head of US Central Command, General Joseph Votel, asked for more American troops to join the roughly 8,400 already stationed there.

The Afghan interior ministry said that over the past 25 hours, security forces had killed 51 armed militants in counter-terrorism operations across Afghanistan.

In a separate incident in the southeastern province of Zabul, two renegade policemen killed eight colleagues and defected to the Taliban, local officials said, although details of the incident, which occurred last Friday, were unclear.

"They first poisoned them and after that shot and killed all of them," Zabul Governor Bismillah Afghanmal said, adding that the men stole weapons and equipment before defecting.

The Taliban's main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied that the two poisoned their colleagues, saying that they had "prepared the way" for other fighters to attack the checkpoint.


Comments (6) Closed



IQBAL HADI ZAIDI Mar 11, 2017 07:34pm

Dare devils are not only killing but also blatantly challenging none but the most superior power on the face of earth named USA. They killed a lot just three days back in the heart of Kabul which is a fortified city in any case and now this. I wish and pray that human blood should be shed alike. How many more months if not years still needed to halt killing is my only question? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi.formerdiplomat@hotmail.com

Saif Zulfiqar Mar 11, 2017 07:48pm

Afghanistan is not doing enough.

Nomi Goraya Mar 11, 2017 07:48pm

And USA and Afghanistan are busy in blame game. What is stopping USA to designate Taliban as terrorist organization in a6 long years so that all must be cleat that Taliban are terrorist. The only so called terrorist organization on the face of globe which is not designated as terrorist outfit by USA and has internationally recognized office at Qatar? Hats off to USA, Afghanistan and allies

maverik Mar 11, 2017 08:41pm

@Nomi Goraya I'm not sure about you but I will defend my country from a foreign occupation, and won't care if you call me a terrorist for defending my country.

SABIR Mar 11, 2017 10:53pm

The current strategy is not working. The Afghan Govt is not doing enough. They need to look this blood shed from different prospective all together. Relying on foreign forces has didn't work. Blaming neighbours is just smoke screening their failure.

CITIZEN Mar 11, 2017 11:41pm

@maverik Totally agreed. No to foreign occupation in Afghanistan and Kashmir.