Khost, Afghanistan                -              The Taliban said it carried out a deadly attack Thursday on an Afghan army base after the government ordered forces to resume strikes against the militants.

Afghan officials said a truck bomb targeted an army base in the eastern city of Gardez, killing five civilians and wounding 19 -- including five army personnel.

It comes after a particularly violent week which saw President Ashraf Ghani rescind the government’s recent “defensive” stance aimed at promoting peace talks with the Taliban, and order troops back onto the offensive.

Provincial health director Welayat Khan Ahmadzai confirmed the death toll, but the Taliban claimed “tens of soldiers were killed and wounded” and denied reports any civilians died.