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Taliban killed praying Afghan soldiers: Gen. Nicholson

Taliban killed praying Afghan soldiers: Gen. Nicholson

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Apr 22, 2017 - 16:47

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): NATOinfo-icon’s resolute support or RS mission has condemned Friday’s complex attack on an Afghan National Army (ANA) base as ‘murderous and reprehensible action.’

The attack, the deadliest on the Afghan army, left nearly 100 service members of the 209 Shaheen Military Corps, dead and several others wounded in northern Balkh province.

Afghan officials said 10 attackers -- gunmen and suicide bombers --- entered the army base using two military vehicles. The troops were busy offering Friday prayers at the mosqueinfo-icon inside their base when two bombers blew themselves.

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon, was quoted as saying in a statement from the coalition: “The attack on the 209th Corps today shows the barbaric nature of the Talibaninfo-icon. They killed soldiers at prayer in a mosque and others in a dining facility.

He said the Resolute Support Mission condemned such murderous and reprehensible actions. “The Afghan National Defence and Security forces and the people of Afghanistan have my personal assurance that we will continue to stand with them. We support our valuable friends and partners in the fight against terrorism.”

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to media. Following the attack on Friday night, the defense ministry had said only eight soldiers had been killed.

But on Saturday, several authorities told media the death toll had increased dramatically to between 100 and 140.

“I want to praise the Afghan Commandos who brought today’s atrocity to an end. Our thoughts are with the brave soldiers martyred today and their comrades, families and friends,” the American general said.

pr/ma

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