Taliban Kill 50 Muslims in Attack
Dozens have been killed in an ongoing attack on an Afghan military base, a US military official said, adding that the death toll may be over 50, Reuters reports. The death toll has reportedly risen to 66, the Afghan Pajhwok news agency said, citing its sources, and adding that 73 soldiers have been injured.
“We’re talking probably more than 50 casualties,” said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command, as quoted by Reuters.
“There is a mosque and a dining facility on the base that seemed to, at this point from our reports, be the subject of significant attack from enemy forces.”
Militants wearing army uniforms stormed a military compound in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province during Friday prayers, Daulat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense, said, as reported by AP.
The militants entered the building with a military vehicle and began shooting at the soldiers as they prayed in the compound’s mosque, he added.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) has condemned the attack in a statement.
The spokesman also said that five assailants were killed on the spot, including one wearing a suicide vest, while one of the attackers was captured alive.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
General Mohmand Katawazi, the commander of the Afghan Army’s 209 Corps, said that the military managed to “eliminate” all attackers, adding that the operation is over. Shaheen camp – the area attacked – was manned by soldiers of the 209 Corps.