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Dozens of Afghan security personnel were killed by Taliban militants who overran a military intelligence base near Kabul, officials have confirmed.

At least 43 people were killed and 54 injured in the attack, the NDS intelligence service told the BBC.

Insurgents blew their way into the base using a car bomb before opening fire. Some reports put the toll at over 100.

It is one of the deadliest attacks on the secret service and follows a string of battlefield setbacks for the army.

Monday’s attack on the National Directorate for Security (NDS) base in central Wardak province came hours before the Taliban held another round of peace talks with US diplomats in Qatar.

Reports say the base in Maidan Shahr, about 30km (19 miles) south-west of Kabul, is a training centre for pro-government militia members.

The militants smashed their way in by detonating a captured Humvee packed with explosives. At least two gunmen then opened fire in the compound.

A second car bombing attempt was foiled by the Afghan security forces and three would-be suicide attackers were killed, the NDS told the BBC.

The Taliban said on Monday they had attacked an Afghan special forces unit and 190 people had been killed. The group often inflates casualty figures from their attacks.

Officials initially acknowledged about 20 deaths but the latest unconfirmed reports say some 70 bodies have so far been pulled from the rubble.

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Most casualties were caused by the partial collapse of the building’s roof when it was hit by the force of the Humvee blast.


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