MAZAR-I-SHARIF – More than 100 Afghan soldiers have been killed and wounded in a coordinated Taliban attack on an army base in northern Afghanistan, according to the defence ministry.
In a tragic turn of events, Taliban targeted Afghan troops on Friday leaving at least 50 dead while injuring several others.
An army spokesman said the insurgents targeted those leaving Friday prayers at the Mazar-e-Sharif base’s mosque, as well as others in a canteen.
Later, the Taliban claimed the attack in a statement, and said they used suicide bombers to breach the defences.
The attack, one of the deadliest in the recent history of the war-torn Asian state, lasted for several hours but was over by early evening.
The US military has said that “more than 50” Afghan soldiers were killed in the assault, while an Afghan army source who was on the base at the time put the death toll as high as 150, with dozens more wounded.
Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Dawlat Waziri detailing the horrific carnage said that in total, there were 10 attackers involved in the attack on the Afghan army corps.
“Seven of them were killed, two blew themselves up, and one was detained by Afghan forces,” he said.
The Taliban fighters tricked security officials into believing that they were their colleagues as they wore army uniforms and drove through military checkpoints before launching the raid.
US military spokesman John Thomas described the attack as a “significant” strike, but he praised the Afghan commandos for bringing the “atrocity to an end”.