Martes, 26 Marcha, 2019

Death toll rises to 140 after Taliban attack in Afghanistan

Toll in Afghan military base attack rises to 140 Toll in Taliban attack near Afghan military base rises to 70, one militant detained
Eleena Tovar | 23 Abril, 2017, 08:54

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condemned the Taliban suicide attack that killed more than 50 Afghan soldiers on an army base in northern Afghanistan.

"One of the attackers blew himself up, and others went and took up positions in a small room next to the mosque", he said.

The Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid released the picture of the ten suicide bombers who launched the attack on Friday afternoon.

Local television stations quoted an unnamed security official and regional politicians Saturday as saying that "at least 140 soldiers were killed in Friday afternoon's attack... and at least 100 soldiers were also wounded".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has declared Sunday a national day of mourning in remembrance of the Afghan forces killed on the base.

Fighting lasted for several hours near the city of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Balkh province. Nicholson said the coalition faces "a shortfall of a few thousand troops" to break the "stalemate".

According to USA watchdog SIGAR, casualties among Afghan security forces soared by 35 percent in 2016, with 6,800 soldiers and police killed.

A USA military spokesperson said there were multiple attackers with some using suicide vests.

A military spokesman said the Taliban fighters wore army uniforms and drove through military checkpoints before launching the raid.

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

"In continuing with their barbarism and criminality, the Taliban carried out a group attack in the 209th Corps mosque when our soldiers were standing for group prayers". It is one of seven corps of the country's Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for providing security for Afghanistan's northern and northeastern provinces. In a post on their official website, the militants claimed that 11 attackers along with an infiltrator inside the army corps had participated in the attack.

The attack does not bode well for the Afghan army as it prepares to enter its third fighting season since the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops left the country. The Afghan national flag will be flown at half-staff in Afghanistan and its missions.