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Suicide Bomber Strikes Afghanistan's Helmand Province 


FILE - Afghan farmers work in a poppy field in the Gereshk district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 8, 2016.

A suicide bomber has detonated his explosives-laden mini truck near an army base in southern Afghanistan, killing at least eight soldiers and wounding around a dozen more.

A provincial government spokesman while confirming the casualties to VOA said the early Sunday attack occurred in the volatile Nad Ali district of Helmand province.

The Taliban swiftly took responsibility for carrying out the bombing. An insurgent spokesman claimed the powerful blast “killed and wounded” more than 100 Afghan security personnel, though Taliban casualty tolls are often inflated.

Helmand is a major poppy producing region, and most of the districts are controlled or contested by the Taliban.

Afghan officials said Sunday’s deadly blast took pace in an area government forces recently freed from insurgent control.

Taliban battlefield attacks and bombings are said to have killed hundreds of Afghans security forces since the beginning of this month, and the group has also overrun new territory.

The Afghan government, in a recent briefing to parliamentarians on the deteriorating national security, confirmed that in the first week of May insurgent attacks killed 252 security personnel and injured more than 400 others.

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