Over 100 persons killed in Taliban attack on Afghan soldiers location

Afghan soldiers stand guard as military ambulances enter an army base in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province, a day after it was targeted by Taliban militants in Balkh province on April 22, 2017. Mutalib Sultani / EPA

Over 100 casualties took place among Afghan soldiers in the Taliban’s attack on an army corps headquarters in northern Balkh province on Friday, according to the Ministry of Defense on Saturday, Anadolu Agency said.

While the military did not give an exact figure of the dead and injured, the Balkh Provincial Council in its statement said over 100 soldiers had been killed and more than 60 others were wounded in the incident, it added.

According to Anadolu, the attack in the provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif city is being billed as one of the deadliest ever assault on the Afghan army by Taliban militants.

A group of Taliban militants had stormed the army’s 209-Shaheen Corps in the province at a time when soldiers were either having lunch or saying their Friday prayers in a mosque inside the heavily-guarded compound, Anadolu Agency indicated.

The hours-long clash ended late in the evening, leaving dead bodies all over the mosque and the dining hall at the base, it explained.

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.”

President Ashraf Ghani visited the attack site on Saturday. Ghani linked the attack to the stepped-up attacks on the militant group nationwide, indicated Anadolu Agency.

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