CNN  — 

At least 12 members of the Afghan military were killed and another 28 injured when the Taliban carried out a suicide attack on a military base in the central province of Maidan Wardak, authorities said.

The terror group attempted to detonate two car bombs near the base, one of which went off, according to a statement from the provincial media office. Three militants were killed in the incident.

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a message sent to members of the media.

Afghan security forces walks near a site after a car bomb attack on a military base in the central province of Maidan Wardak on Monday.

The assault comes after one of the more deadly years in recent memory in Afghanistan, with a series of brazen attacks by the Taliban signaling that the group is still operating from a position of strength.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the situation as a “stalemate” in November. “They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say.”

The attack, Monday, came hours before the Afghan government indicated they had begun diplomatic negotiations with the United States. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that peace talks involving US representatives began in Qatar Monday and would continue Tuesday.

The US has not publicly confirmed the talks. The State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, is just wrapping up a trip to Asia, during which he met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“We agreed military pressure is essential while we prepare to engage in negotiations for peace,” he said.

“The US and our partners are proud of our longstanding support to Afghan security forces and will continue to do our part to back them.”

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Despite these diplomatic developments, violence has not abated. At least 47 were killed in a seven-hour assault on a government building in the capital of Kabul in late December, and another five died when assailants attacked a police station in Herat earlier this month.