Death toll in Afghan base attack rises to 140, officials say
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 20:41
NY [U.S.A.], April 22: More than 50 Afghan soldiers have been killed after some Taliban suicide attackers disguised as army personnel targetted a national army base in northern Afghanistan.
The attackers reached Mazar-i-sharif mosque where the Afghan National Army were praying and opened fire.
"More than 135 Afghan soldiers have been killed" in a Taliban attack on their base near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a United States military spokesman told AFP.
Taliban militants have launched their annual spring offensive in the war-torn country, targeting security forces and US-led foreign troops.
Afghan National Army troops keep watch near the site of an ongoing attack on an army headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif.
More than a third of the country is beyond the control of the Afghan government and many regions are fiercely contested by various groups.
On Saturday, the U.S. military command in Kabul said that an American air strike killed a Taliban commander, Quari Tayib, on April 17.
An army officer told Reuters the attackers used military uniforms and vehicles to pass three checkpoints before launching their assault.
While the Afghan military did not give an exact figure of the dead and injured, the Balkh Provincial Council in its statement said over 100 soldiers had been killed and more than 60 others were wounded in the incident.
Last year, 6,800 Afghan soldiers and police killed, SIGAR said. He claimed more than a hundred soldiers had been killed in the attack.
Ghani linked the attack to the stepped-up attacks on the militant group nationwide.
General John Nicholson, Commander of NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement that the attack "shows the barbaric nature of the Taliban".
According to officials, five attackers were involved, including one suicide bomber who detonated an explosives belt and four gunmen who stormed the building.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the terror attack on army base and prayed for the families of victims. It is responsible for combat operations in most of northern Afghanistan, including troubled Kunduz province.