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Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Over 140 Afghan soldiers killed in Taliban attack on army base in Mazar-I-Sharif

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mazar-i-sharifAs many as 140 Afghan soldiers were killed on Friday by Taliban attackers apparently disguised in military uniforms in what would be the deadliest attack ever on an Afghan military base, officials said.

The Defence Ministry said the toll was “over 100” Afghan soldiers killed and wounded.

One official in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the attack occurred, said on Saturday at least 140 soldiers were killed and many others wounded. Other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the government has yet to release exact casualty figures.

The attack starkly highlighted the struggle by the Afghan government and its international backers to defeat a potent Taliban insurgency that has gripped Afghanistan for more than a decade.

As many as 10 Taliban fighters, dressed in Afghan army uniforms and driving military vehicles, made their way onto the base and opened fire on mostly unarmed soldiers eating a meal and leaving a mosque after Friday prayers, according to officials. The attackers used rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, and several detonated suicide vests packed with explosive, they said. Witnesses described a scene of confusion as soldiers were uncertain who the attackers were.

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