NEWS | 140 Afghan Soldiers of 209th Corps of Afghan National Army are Killed in Taliban Attack

NEWS | 140 Afghan Soldiers of 209th Corps of Afghan National Army are Killed in Taliban Attack

Image Attribute: Aftermath of Attack - Photographs of 209 Shaheen Army Corps in Balkh, Afghanistan where Taliban killed more than 140 soldiers and wounded more than 90. Source: Aditya Raj Kaul's Twitter Handle

Image Attribute: Aftermath of Attack - Photographs of 209 Shaheen Army Corps in Balkh, Afghanistan where Taliban killed more than 140 soldiers and wounded more than 90. Source: Aditya Raj Kaul's Twitter Handle

As many as 140 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on a military compound near Mazar-e Sharif on April 21. The attackers apparently disguised in military uniforms in what would be the deadliest attack ever on an Afghan military base, officials said.

Defense Ministry spokesman Daulat Waziri said on April 22 that the victims were almost all members of the 209th Corps of the Afghan National Army.


He added that 10 militants dressed in Afghan Army uniforms carried out that attack -- two conducting suicide attacks, while the other eight were shot dead during the gunbattle.

Mohammad Ibrahim Khair Andesh, head of the Balkh Provincial Council, told the dpa news agency that at least 140 soldiers were killed and another 160 injured in the incident, but those numbers were not confirmed.

Image Attribute: Aftermath of Attack - Photographs of 209 Shaheen Army Corps in Balkh, Afghanistan where Taliban killed more than 140 soldiers and wounded more than 90. Source: Aditya Raj Kaul's Twitter Handle

Image Attribute: Aftermath of Attack - Photographs of 209 Shaheen Army Corps in Balkh, Afghanistan where Taliban killed more than 140 soldiers and wounded more than 90. Source: Aditya Raj Kaul's Twitter Handle

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that more than 500 soldiers had been killed or wounded.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Saturday the attack was retribution for the recent killing of several senior Taliban leaders in northern Afghanistan.


Image Attribute: Aftermath of Attack - Photographs of 209 Shaheen Army Corps in Balkh, Afghanistan where Taliban killed more than 140 soldiers and wounded more than 90. Source: Aditya Raj Kaul's Twitter Handle

Image Attribute: Aftermath of Attack - Photographs of 209 Shaheen Army Corps in Balkh, Afghanistan where Taliban killed more than 140 soldiers and wounded more than 90. Source: Aditya Raj Kaul's Twitter Handle


Four of the attackers were Taliban sympathizers who had infiltrated the army and served for some time, Mujahid said.

That claim has not been confirmed by the Afghan army.




U.S. General John Nicholson, the commander of NATO's Resolute Support operation, said in a statement that the attack targeted "soldiers at prayer in a mosque and others in a dining facility" of the 209th Corps of the Afghan Army.

Nicholson praised "the Afghan commandos who brought today's atrocity to an end."

The attackers, dressed in Afghan uniforms, entered the base in two military vehicles after telling guards at the gates that they were carrying wounded soldiers and urgently needed to get in, Afghan Army spokesman Nasratullah Jamshidi said.

Balkh is among the relatively secure provinces in Afghanistan.

This is the second such attack on a secure facility in recent months. The first, by Islamic State militants, took place at a military hospital in Kabul, killing 49 people and wounding 76 others early last month.


With reporting by Reuters, TOLO News, AP, and dpa
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