Taliban kills over 100 in Afghanistan

Cheryl Sanders
April 23, 2017

The uniformed attackers entered the base in vehicles and opened fire, Afghan army spokesman Abdul Qahar Araam said.

The soldiers, a lot of them unarmed, were shot while eating lunch or emerging from a Friday Prayer service at the headquarters of the Afghan Army's 209th Corps in Balkh by assailants in military uniforms who entered after another attacker had detonated explosives at a check post.

The attack happened at about 1.30 p m on Friday at a mosque located onsite of Afghan National Army's 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters in Balkh province.

The US has around 8,400 troops in the country with about another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies assisting a much larger Afghan force in the war against the Taliban and other militants Nicholson in February told US officials in Washington that he needed "a few thousand" more troops. It is one of the deadliest attacks on an Afghan military base since the war began.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the assault in an email sent to media. Initial reports said eight soldiers were killed in the attack.

In a statement, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri said: "Taliban ... attacked the mosque at the 209-Shaheen Corps when majority of the soldiers were performing Friday prayers, more than 100 soldiers have either embraced martyrdom or got wounded".

The army chief "grieved on the loss of innocent lives and expresses solidarity with Afghan security forces and brotherly resilient Afghan nation", added the statement.

Ghani held an emergency meeting with senior security officials and called for a "serious" investigation into the attack. The gunfire was followed by an explosion at one of the base's gates.

He cited the government's stability; Afghan military casualties; the influence of Pakistan, Russia and Iran; "the convergence" of various terror groups; the narcotics trade and corruption.

The attack came weeks after militants entered the Afghan Army's main hospital in Kabul, the capital, and killed more than 50 people in a siege that lasted almost seven hours.

"The people and the Afghan government appreciate the bravery of our security forces, which will be written in golden words in our history", the president said.

Ghani announced that Sunday would be a day of national mourning, with memorial services across the country's mosques and the Afghan flag flying at half-mast, in a statement issued by the Presidential Palace.

The NATO-led military coalition deploys advisers to the base to train and assist Afghan forces but coalition officials said no foreign troops had been hurt.

The last major attack against a military site was in early March when gunmen disguised as doctors stormed the Sardar Daud Khan hospital - the country's largest military hospital - in Kabul, killing dozens.

Other reports by iNewsToday