Afghan officials: 100 casualties in Afghanistan attack

At least 135 Afghan military personnel were killed and over 60 wounded in a deadly attack by the Taliban on an army corps base in Mazar-e-Sharif city in Balkh province.

Lately, the U.S. has concentrated on fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in eastern Afghanistan, while also supporting Afghan National Security Forces against the Taliban.

The death toll from a Taliban raid on a key army base has exceeded 160, an official said Saturday, the bloodiest single incident in an attack by the resurgent militants since their ouster in 2001.

"The situation shows that we can not stop supporting, training and advising our Afghan partners", a German Operations Command spokesman said.

The last major attack against a military site dates back to early March, a coordinated hours-long assault on the country's main military hospital in Kabul.

As Tom notes, the attack comes shortly after National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster's visit to Afghanistan, amid calls for the U.S.to send a few thousand additional troops to train Afghans. The attack came days after US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser HR McMaster discussed the Afghanistan situation with leaders in Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi, almost a week after the US military dropped a massive non-nuclear bomb.

"The terrorist attack is a stark reminder of the need to immediately dismantle the safe havens and sanctuaries that support and sustain terrorism in Afghanistan from outside its borders", the ministry statement said.

A military spokesman said the Taliban fighters wore army uniforms and drove through military checkpoints before launching the raid thus making relatives of some of the soldiers gather outside the base to take possession of coffins.

The spokesman said there was "no indication" that coalition forces were harmed in the attack. Another official said the death toll of the soldiers was likely to be even higher.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attackers had set off an explosion, allowing suicide bombers with small arms to breach the base's defenses.

"ISIS remains committed to taking advantage of failed and weakened states", Thomas said, "and we continue to move against those terror plotters as we go forward".

The 209th Army Corps base is one of the largest in the country, responsible for security in nine of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

"What Taliban did in Mazar today (Friday) was against all values", he said. Eight others were killed in a gun battle with soldiers.

  • Julie Sanders