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Afghan Forces Kill Suspected Taliban Mastermind Of Deadly Army Base Attack

Kabul says that Hamza Waziristani was the mastermind of a November 29 suicide car-bombing that left at least 30 security personnel dead.

Afghan forces have killed a member of the Taliban whom Kabul says was the mastermind of a suicide car-bombing that left at least 30 security personnel dead.

Hamza Waziristani was killed in an air strike overnight in the eastern province of Ghazni, where the bomber struck an Afghan military base on November 29.

Health officials in Ghazni said 30 people died in the November 29 attack, but the Defense Ministry -- which is known to downplay tolls in attacks against its forces -- said 10 were killed.

The attack was one of the deadliest in months targeting Afghan government forces as violence has surged despite the start in September of peace talks between President Ashraf Ghani's administration and the Taliban in Qatar.

The intra-Afghan talks are part of a February deal between the United States and the Taliban that paved the way for the withdrawal of foreign troops by May 2021.

No group has claimed the Ghazni attack, but the Taliban often does not comment on deadly attacks it is accused of carrying out.

"The mastermind behind yesterday's terrorist attack on the (Ghazni) base was killed along with seven other terrorists," the Defense Ministry said in a statement on November 30.

Military spokesman Fawad Aman told the media that Waziristani was a Taliban militant from the Pakistani border region of Waziristan.

In northwestern Badghis Province, officials said the commander of an Afghan Army brigade was killed in a Taliban mortar attack late on November 29.

The commander, Abdul Basir Nuristani, was killed in the Bala Murgha district of the province, local officials said.

The officials said a mortar landed in the army compound and that 11 other soldiers were also wounded.

In neighboring Pakistan, unidentified gunmen on November 30 killed four tribal elders in the North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, police officials and locals told RFE/RL.

The incident occurred in Khaisoor, a town in the Mir Ali region of North Waziristan. The elders were traveling in a car when gunmen opened fire at them from another vehicle. The attackers managed to escape the scene.

With reporting by dpa and
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