At least 140 Afghan soldiers have been killed, following an attack by Taliban suicide attackers, disguised as army personal, on an army base in the country’s north.
At least 140 Afghan soldiers have been killed after Taliban suicide attackers disguised as army personnel targeted a national army base in the north of the country.
The defence ministry said more than 100 Afghan soldiers had been killed or wounded.
One official in Mazar-i-Sharif, where the attack occurred, said on Saturday that at least 140 soldiers had been killed and many others wounded. Other officials said the toll was likely to be higher. The Afghan government had yet to release exact casualty figures.
According to Abdul Qahar Aram, a spokesman for the Afghan army’s 209th Corps, a group of suicide attackers manning at least two national army vehicles managed to pass the first security gate on Friday afternoon.
When they were stopped at the second gate, one of the attackers blew himself up, and the rest entered the base, he said. They went straight to the mosque where ANA soldiers were praying, and opened fire.
“After prayer we went outside and saw an army vehicle with three to five people in. They came out and opened fire with Kalashnikovs,” said a bodyguard at the base, asking not to be named.
Elsewhere on the base, at least one attacker went on a shooting rampage in a dining facility, according to a US security official. He said “probably more than 50” had been killed in the attack.
The US military confirmed that coalition personnel were present at the Mazar-i-Sharif base, but there were no reports of casualties.