The Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack at a military base that killed several soldiers in the contested district of Nad Ali in Helmand province earlier today. Nad Ali is one of seven contested districts in Helmand.
In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website, it said they “killed more than 110 ANA [Afghan National Army], ANP [Afghan National Police] and Arbakis personnel [tribal militia]” in “a martyr attack on a key military center in Shireen Charrahi area.” The suicide bomber, who detonated a truck filled with explosives as a military convoy was leaving the base, was identified as “Jabir.” The Taliban also claimed it destroyed the base and “many ranger pickups, tanks and 4 armored tank [sic].”
“[The] Enemy is currently taking away the corpses from the debris and has cordoned off the area completely,” the Taliban concluded.
Afghan officials confirmed the attack took place but differed on casualties taken by Afghan forces. The spokesman for Helmand’s governor claimed that two soliders were killed and four more were wounded, while a district official put the count at 17 soldiers killed and 21 wounded, The Associated Press reported.
Helmand is one of Afghanistan’s most troubled provinces. Of Helmand’s 13 districts, six are controlled by the Taliban and seven, including Nad Ali, are contested, according an ongoing study by FDD’s Long War Journal.
Task Force-Southwest, a US military command operating in Helmand province, recently touted a rocket strike on a Taliban command and control center in the nearby district of Musa Qala, which is under Taliban control. The Taliban denied the structure was a command center.