An official said Saturday that at least 135 Afghan soldiers were killed and 60 more were hurt when Taliban terrorists attacked an Afghan army base in Balkh province.
During the attack on Friday on the 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters, one of the biggest military bases in Mazar-e-Sharif city, ten Taliban militants were killed by the forces, a source told Tolo News on the condition of anonymity because the government has not released the official number.
The killing was said to have been done by the Taliban group.
The source said that the number is likely to go up even more because some of the hurt are in very bad shape.
Dawlat Waziri, a spokeswoman for the Defence Ministry, said that the compound was attacked by Taliban fighters in army uniforms during Friday prayers.
The militants drove a military car onto the base and started shooting at the troops while they were praying at a mosque on the base. The attackers used rocket-propelled grenades and firearms.
A spokesman said that the troops killed 10 terrorists.
The head of the government of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, called the attack “cowardly.”
“What the Taliban did in Mazar today (Friday) was against all values,” he said.
Former President Hamid Karzai wrote, “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on our military base in Mazar-e-Sharif, in which many of our brave soldiers were killed or hurt.”
The NATO Resolute Support Mission also said that the attack was terrible and should not have happened.
The head of the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said in a statement that the attack “shows how barbaric the Taliban are.”
“We all think that killing people and doing bad things is wrong.”
In the statement, NATO also said again that it would help the Afghan troops.
“I can personally promise the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and the people of Afghanistan that we will continue to stand with them. It said, “We support our important friends and allies in the fight against terrorism.”
The attack happened just two days after Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi visited the base while he was in Balkh.
It is the second big attack on a military base in Afghanistan in 2017.
In March, the Taliban struck this military hospital and killed at least 50 people. (IANS)