Death toll in Afghan base attack rises to 140, officials say

An injured soldier recovers in a hospital after Friday’s attack at a military compound in Mazar-e Sharif province north of Kabul Afghanistan Saturday. Gunmen wearing army uniforms stormed a military compound in the Balkh province killing at least

An injured soldier recovers in a hospital after Friday’s attack at a military compound in Mazar-e Sharif province north of Kabul Afghanistan Saturday. Gunmen wearing army uniforms stormed a military compound in the Balkh province killing at least

"India condemns in the strongest terms the deplorable terrorist attack in Mazar-e-Sharif on 21 April resulting in loss of lives, including the fearless personnel of the Afghan National Defence Forces".

As 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.

Earlier estimates put the death toll as high as 134, but a statement from the defence ministry on Saturday, April 22, confirmed more than 100 soldiers had been "killed or injured" but a security official in Mazar-e Sharif told the BBC that more than 100 had died, including a top military commander.

Military officials say 10 attackers, including two suicide bombers, entered the base driving army vehicles and wearing military uniforms before attacking soldiers inside a mosque during Friday prayers.

Ten militants first targeted a mosque inside the base where army staff were performing Friday prayers before moving on to a dining facility, the source said. Eight others were killed in a gun battle with soldiers.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to the media, Reuters reported.

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

German military says no German or worldwide troops were involved in the attack.

The latest attack starkly highlighted the struggle of the Afghan government and its worldwide backers in defeating a potent Taliban insurgency that has gripped Afghanistan for more than a decade.

The defence ministry did not give a breakdown of the casualties in the hours-long attack near Mazar-i-Sharif city on Friday.

The defence ministry said more than 100 soldiers were killed or wounded.

"I don't know maybe they had someone inside to help them to bring the vehicle inside".

The Taliban movement claimed the authorship in a statement and said the attack on the base was retribution for the recent killing of several senior Taliban leaders of the insurgent group in northern Afghanistan.

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

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