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Official: Taliban attack on checkpoint leaves 19 Afghan soldiers dead, 7 missing

Officials say the Taliban have attacked an army checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan, leaving 19 soldiers dead and seven missing.

Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, who is spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said the attack happened in the Ghazi Abad district of Kunar Province early Sunday morning. He confirmed that 19 soldiers were dead and two injured.

He said an investigation and search and rescue operation is underway.

Abdul Ghani Musamem, spokesman for the governor of Kunar Province, said seven soldiers were missing following the attack. It was not immediately clear if the soldiers had been kidnapped or had fled during the assault.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an emailed statement, saying that one of their insurgents was killed and two were wounded.