Image copyright Ned Johnson/US Marine Corps
By Alex Pena
Copyright 2014 Stars and Stripes
KABUL — An early morning attack by insurgents on two Afghan army checkpoints Sunday in Kunar province left 21 Afghan soldiers dead and six missing in a battle that lasted about four hours, the Afghan Defense Ministry said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack via an e-mailed statement, saying, “tens of (ANA) soldiers had been killed and arrested.”
The Afghan Defense Ministry said 21 Afghan soldiers were killed and two wounded and that the insurgents “suffered heavy losses.” The Taliban statement said only one of their fighters was killed and another wounded.
The attack took place in Ghazi Abad District in Kunar province, near the volatile border with Pakistan. The area has been a hotbed of insurgent activity throughout the war.
The defense ministry said both internal and foreign insurgents were involved in the attack, which began at 4 a.m. with the ensuing gunbattle lasting until 8 a.m.
An Afghan National Army unit that was dispatched to the area to assist was attacked by a suicide bomber, but there were no casualties in that incident, the ministry said.