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Islamic State group claims attack on Afghan army base

AFP  |  Khost 

The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed a suicide attack inside a packed mosque on an base that a said killed at least 27 soldiers.

At least 79 military personnel were wounded in the attack on the of the 203 in the eastern province of during Friday prayers, according to casualty figures from public and private hospitals in the provincial capital.

In a statement posted on the IS site Amaq, the group's Afghan franchise claimed 50 were killed and 110 wounded in the attack.

It warned "more devastating and bitter" assaults were ahead.

But a told AFP on Friday on the condition of anonymity that 27 soldiers had lost their lives and 44 had been wounded.

Mangal told AFP on Saturday that 13 soldiers had been killed and "about" 40 wounded.

and military officials are often suspected of downplaying the casualty tolls in militant assaults.

The bombing follows a wave of deadly attacks across in recent weeks as militants step up violence amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year conflict.

Chakhansuri told reporters Saturday that the attack was similar to the Taliban-claimed assault on a mosque and dining hall inside a military base in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in April 2017 that killed at least 144 troops.

"We are seriously investigating it," Chakhansuri said.

"Those who have neglected their duties will be prosecuted." It has been a bloody few days for

A US soldier was killed on Saturday, NATO said, taking the number of American service personnel to die in the war-torn country this year to nine.

That came after at least 55 people were killed and 94 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a religious gathering in on Tuesday.

No militant group has claimed the explosion at the Uranus Wedding Palace, where hundreds of religious scholars had been marking the Prophet Mohammad's birthday.

Friday's explosion in came as Afghan security forces suffer record casualties, which experts warn have reached unsustainable levels as the maintain the upper hand in the war.

Since the start of 2015, when local forces took over from US-led NATO combat troops to secure the country, nearly 30,000 Afghan soldiers and police have been killed, revealed this month -- a figure far higher than anything previously acknowledged.

US expressed hopes in last Sunday that a peace deal to end the war could be struck before the Afghan presidential election, scheduled for April 20.

His comments underscore an apparent increasing sense of urgency in the and among American diplomats for a peace deal to be done quickly.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 24 2018. 22:20 IST
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