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  • Taliban walk as they celebrate ceasefire in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. picture taken June 16, 2018.

    Taliban walk as they celebrate ceasefire in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. picture taken June 16, 2018. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 22 January 2019

If the death toll of at least 100 is confirmed this attack will become the most deadly against national intelligence services in the last twenty years.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a military compound in the Maidan Wardak Province in the central region of Afghanistan which left over 100 people dead according to government reports, however, the death toll has not yet been officially confirmed.

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“We have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the military training center, eight special commandos are among the dead,” said a senior official with the Afghan defense ministry who remains unidentified.

The numbers of dead and injured vary according to reports from public health officials and provincial authorities, some citing the death toll at 24 and others at 50.

The attackers drove a military vehicle filled with explosives into a training center of the National Directorate for Security and two gunmen entered the locality and opened fire before succumbing to lethal force.

This attack coincided with the date of the meeting between Taliban spokesman Zabidullah Mujahid and United States special envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, in Qatar.

The President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani reacted saying that the event was perpetrated by the “enemies of the country,” on “a number of our beloved and honest sons.”

If the death toll of at least 100 is confirmed this attack will become the most deadly against national intelligence services in the last twenty years, according to the BBC.

This large scale event has lead Afghanistan’s leadership to release information previously considered “too sensitive” as more than 28,000 police and soldiers have been killed since 2015, according to the New York Times based on information provided by US and Afghan officials.

The war in Afghanistan started more than 15 years ago after the U.S. invaded the country and overthrew the Taliban government as part of George W. Bush’s global “war on terror” following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The ongoing conflict is estimated to have left over 220,000 people dead, mostly civilians.

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