Fifty Afghan security forces, civilians killed in airport siege

Afghan security forces stand guard at the entrance gate of Kandahar Airport where Taliban stormed on late Tuesday, in Kandahar, Afghanistan December 9, 2015. REUTERS
The last of 11 Taliban insurgents who infiltrated Kandahar airport was killed late on Wednesday, more than 24 hours after the attack was launched, the Defense Ministry said, with the death toll among civilians and security forces rising to 50.
The attack on one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan coincided with a regional peace conference in Pakistan where President Ashraf Ghani asked Pakistan to help restart peace talks with the Taliban that were broken off earlier this year.
The ministry said operations against the attackers, who took up position in a part of the complex used for accommodation, had proceeded slowly to limit the number of civilian casualties.
In all, 38 civilians, 10 soldiers and two police officers were killed in the fighting, while 37 security forces and civilians were wounded.
No casualties were reported among the thousands of international military and contractors based at the heavily fortified site.
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