Afghan army loses 40 men

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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — Taliban attacks on Afghan security forces in the country’s north have caused “heavy casualties”, officials said Thursday, putting the number of soldiers killed as high as 40 in ongoing fighting.

Militants using night-vision goggles launched simultaneous raids on several Afghan military bases and posts in Dashte Archi district in Kunduz province overnight, defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish and other Afghan security sources told AFP.

“We have suffered casualties, the Taliban have also suffered casualties,” Radmanish said.

Between 10 and 15 Afghan soldiers had been killed so far, and about the same number wounded, he added.

But an Afghan security source told AFP that the death toll among security forces was “more than 40”.

Mohammad Hanif Rezayee, a spokesman for the 209 Shaheen Army Corps in the north, said two military posts had fallen to the Taliban, but security forces had managed to beat back an attack on a base.