Taliban attack kills over 100 on Afghan military base

Taliban attack kills over 100 on Afghan military base
Over 100 military personnel, mainly young recruits, were killed in the deadly Taliban assault on an army base in northern Afghanistan.
2 min read
22 April, 2017
Over 100 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on an army base in northern Afghanistan on Friday, defence ministry officials said.

The attack near Mazar-i-Sharif lasted several hours and targeted soldiers at a mosque and dining hall. Two attackers were thought to be suicide bombers while seven others were killed during the assault.

"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".

A military official at the base told AFP that the death toll could be as high as 150, with dozens more injured. The facility in Balkh province is home to the Afghan army's 209th Corps.

"They were young recruits who had come for training," he said on condition of anonymity.

General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, praised Afghan commandos for bringing the "atrocity to an end".

The deadly attack is the latest in a string of assaults on Afghan military sites, with Afghan forces struggling to beat back insurgents since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in 2014.

In 2016, casualties among Afghan forces increased by 35 percent in 2016, with 6,800 soldiers and policemen killed.

The US still has around 8,400 troops in the country with about another 5,000 from NATO allies assisting a much larger Afghan force in the war against the Taliban and other militants.

In March, gunmen disguised as doctors stormed the Sardar Daud Khan military hospital in Kabul, killing dozens of people.

 
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