Afghanistan: 22 troopers die amid Taliban attack

Security forces inspect the site of a suicide bombing in the diplomatic area of capital Kabul Afghanistan Saturday Feb. 24 2018. Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said several people were wounded in Saturday's attack in the Shash Darak

At least 18 Afghan soldiers were killed on Saturday in the Bala Boluk district of western Farah province when Taliban fighters stormed an army checkpoint.

In Helmand province, two soldiers were killed in a vehicle bomb attack at the entrance of the army base in Nad Aali district today.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the attack happened around 8:30 a.m. local time near the Kabul Green Zone, approximately one kilometer (about half a mile) away from where the US Embassy, NATO and other diplomatic compounds are located.

No one has claimed responsibility but the Taliban and Islamic State militant group both have carried out past attacks in Kabul.

The attacks came as a high-level North Atlantic Treaty Organisation delegation visited Afghanistan, pledging support for President Ashraf Ghani's government, which on Wednesday hosts the latest in a series of diplomatic meetings aimed at laying the groundwork for a possible political process involving the Taliban.

The area is near the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters, and is not far from the USA embassy.

The Islamic State group in a statement on its website claimed responsibility.

An assailant has attacked a diplomatic district in Afghanistan's capital, killing at least two people and injuring six others.

A series of militant attacks in Afghanistan have killed more than 20 people ahead of an worldwide meeting next week aimed at building diplomatic support for possible peace talks with the Taliban.

It comes just one month after Taliban gunmen killed 20 people at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, in an assault which led to a 12-hour standoff between gunmen and security forces.

Two separate suicide bombings in Helmand province killed at least five people.

Soldiers shot down one of the Helmand suicide bombers, but the explosive in his auto detonated at the entrance of the Nad Aali district Army base before they could diffuse it, provincial governor's spokesperson Omar Zwak said.

The group had called on the "American people and the peace loving Congressmen" to pressurize U.S. leadership to end the occupation of the Asian country, a precondition that Taliban has always maintained to begin any negotiation.

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