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At Least 12 Afghan Security Forces Killed In Suicide Attack

FILE: NATO soldiers keep watch near the wreckage of their vehicle at the site of a Taliban suicide attack in Kandahar on September 15.

At least 12 members of the Afghan security forces were killed when a suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed Humvee blew himself up in the southern province of Kandahar, police said on September 28.

The deadly attack on the government and police headquarters in Maroof district was claimed by the Taliban.

"Twelve security forces were killed and four others were wounded," Kandahar police spokesman Zia Durrani said.

The Taliban said that they had captured the center of Maroof district. However, Durani and two Kandahar provincial council members, Haji Agha Lali Dastgiri and Haji Sayed Jan Khakrezwal, denied the claim.

Durrani said the Taliban attackers had been "defeated."

Thousands of Humvees have been provided to Afghan forces by the U.S. military. The Taliban has captured hundreds of the expensive military vehicles over the past years.

A police commander in Maroof, which borders Pakistan, gave a slightly higher toll, telling AFP that 14 security personnel had been killed and eight wounded in the attack, which happened late on September 27.

The attack is the latest deadly assault by the Taliban, which has been on the offensive since U.S.-led NATO combat troops withdrew in 2014 and now controls large areas across the country.

During a high-profile visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to Kabul on September 27, insurgents fired several rockets near the city's international airport. That attack was claimed both by the Taliban and by the Islamic State extremist group.

A U.S. air strike launched in support of Afghan forces who had confronted the attackers caused "several casualties" when a missile malfunctioned, a statement by the NATO-led Resolute Force mission said.

One person was killed and 11 others wounded in the assault, which lasted several hours, the Interior Ministry said.

With reporting by AFP, dpa, and AP

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