Afghan security forces keep watch near the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 9, 2018: Reuters
A pre-dawn Taliban attack in northeastern Afghanistan has killed at least 17 government security forces and wounded many more.
The fighting erupted in the mountainous Khawaja Ghar district of Takhar province where insurgents assaulted an Afghan army base.
District chief Mohammad Omar told VOA scores of insurgents from the Taliban's so-called "Red Army" commando unit staged a surprise attack on the base and surrounding security posts.
Afghan soldiers and police personnel were among the dead, he added.
A Taliban spokesman claimed its fighters have overrun the base and surrounding 12 security posts, killing nearly 30 Afghan forces. Insurgent battlefield gains and casualty tolls are often inflated.