ISLAMABAD — A large-scale Taliban assault on a key airport in southern Afghanistan ended late Wednesday, according to Afghan officials, who said that the deal toll his risen to 50.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said 38 civilians, 10 soldiers, and two policemen were killed in the attack, which began early Tuesday at the Kandahar Air Field.
The last of the 11 Taliban militants involved in the attack was killed more than 24 hours after the assault got under way, the Thursday statement added.
The heavily armed suicide bombers wearing uniforms of Afghan security forces stormed the airfield, which also houses a military base that includes NATO troops.
There were no NATO casualties reported.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says its fighters entered the base and attacked local and foreign military personnel there. He claimed the assault left 150 soldiers dead, but the Islamist insurgency usually exaggerates casualty claims.
The Taliban also released a photo of what it says are the 10 men in military uniforms it sent to attack the Kandahar airport.
Afghan military officials say the insurgents began the assault from an area where residential buildings are located.
Regional Corps commander General Daud Shah Wafadar, told VOA shortly after the attack that it started while he was going home from work.
“I escaped unhurt, but a bodyguard was killed while another was wounded,” he said.
Security forces swiftly engaged the assailants and killed four of them while the rest of the militants took up position in the nearby school, the general said.