18 soldiers killed in west Afghanistan

Farah provincial council official, Dadullah Qani, today said 18 Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on a military base in Shakh-i-Bala Kansk area of Bala Block district last night.

In the first attack in Helmand province, Taliban fighters used a Humvee to enter an army base in Nad Ali district but were identified by soldiers and pushed away.

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the attack occurred around 8:15 a.m. local time on February 24 in the Shash Darak area of Kabul, near North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters and not far from the U.S. Embassy.

An explosion has occurred in a diplomatic area of Afghanistan's capital. The NDS compound is located near North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters and the USA embassy.

Islamic State claimed responsibility in a message carried by its Amaq news agency.

At least 30 people have been killed in four attacks across three Afghan provinces, officials said Saturday.

Najib Danish says the death toll in the capital Kabul could rise.

In a separate incident, three security personnel were killed in two suicide blasts in Helmand province, an official said.

More than 20 Afghans were killed in Islamist militant attacks and suicide bombings Saturday.

The suicide attacker was on foot, he said.

Without providing exact figures, Waziri said a number of "enemies of the nation" had also been killed in these clashes.

In one attack, one intelligence agency officer was killed and 16 civilians injured after a terrorist detonated a truck bombing in front of a provincial intelligence office in Lashkar Gah city, capital of southern Helmand province.

One person was killed and 16 others were injured in a vehicle bombing in the parking lot of an Afghan spy agency facility in Lashkargah city, Abdul Ahad Sultanzoy, a provincial council member from Helmand, said.

"We're also seeing an increase by the Americans in aerial bombings ... on the Taliban and especially, ISIL", he said.

The Taliban has gained ground in Afghanistan in recent months, with a BBC study in January finding that the group is now active in 70 percent of the country.

  • Jon Douglas