More than 140 Afghan soldiers were killed and wounded in a coordinated Taliban attack on an army base in northern Afghanistan, the country’s defence ministry said today.
“The majority of our soldiers were offering Friday prayers” at the time of the assault, the ministry said in a statement, adding that “over 100 Afghan army forces were martyred and wounded”.
The death toll has jumped to 140 following Friday’s assault on an army base in the northern Balkh province.
Another 160 people were wounded in the attack, Mohammad Ibrahim Khair Andesh, the head of the provincial council, announced on Saturday.
The attack, responsibility for which has been claimed by the Taliban, happened at an army command centre a few miles from Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh.
Two of the attackers blew themselves up and seven were killed in the assault, which lasted several hours and targeted soldiers at a mosque and dining facility, the Afghan defence ministry said.
One of the assailants was detained.
There were two checkpoints but the fighters managed to go through that as well. It was chaotic and I saw more than 60 people dead on the spot. The toll is still rising because it was a large-scale attack. People are in fear and have a lot of questions.
Fighters in three military vehicles with forged documents launched the attack by shooting a rocket at the entrance of the base.
Several military helicopters hovered over the facility during the attack and a
mbulances later took away the bodies of the victims.
The Taliban claimed that more than 500 soldiers were killed and wounded. The group also claimed that four of the attackers were soldiers who had served at the base and had knowledge of the facility.
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