Mirwais Harooni and Missy Ryan
Reuters
March 13, 2014

The soldiers were asleep when attackers struck their outpost, tucked in the mountains of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar and on the front lines of a deepening war between the army and a potent mix of militants.

Afghan officials say scores of militants killed 21 soldiers as they overran the tiny fortified base on February 23.

While the circumstances remain murky, the assault underscores the challenges Afghanistan will face as foreign forces withdraw to prevent hard-to-govern areas such as Kunar reverting to the militant safe havens they once were.

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