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At least 140 soldiers killed in Taliban attack on Afghan army base

By
Daniel Uria
Afghan soldiers stand guard as military ambulances enter a military base after an attack by the Taliban that killed at least 140 soldiers and left at least 6o more wounded on Friday afternoon.
 Photo by Mutalib Sultani/EPA
Afghan soldiers stand guard as military ambulances enter a military base after an attack by the Taliban that killed at least 140 soldiers and left at least 6o more wounded on Friday afternoon. Photo by Mutalib Sultani/EPA

April 22 (UPI) -- More than 100 soldiers were killed in an attack by the Taliban on an Army base in Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday.

At least 140 soldiers were killed and about 60 more were wounded during an attack on the Afghan National Army's 209th Shaheen Corps Headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday afternoon.

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"Today, there was a shortage of coffins," Balkh Province council member Ibrahim Khairandish declared in the aftermath of the slaughter.

Witnesses said a group of heavily armed suicide bombers opened fire on soldiers, most of whom were unarmed, as they left a mosque after Friday prayer. The attackers also infiltrated a dining hall where more soldiers were killed and wounded.

"Most of those killed were in the mosque; some of them were in the dining facility," official, Ibrahim Khairandish, said, according to the New York Times.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and shared photos of the 10 men dressed completely in Afghan military uniforms.

He said four soldiers in the base who had long been working for the Taliban led the attack in retaliation for killings of Taliban shadow governors in the Kunduz and Baghlan provinces.

"In continuing with their barbarism and criminality, the Taliban carried out a group attack in the 209th Corps mosque when our soldiers were standing for group prayers. This was against all human and Islamic values," Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman, Gen. Dawlat Waziri, said.

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