Afghans observe day of mourning after Taliban raid
According to Rapporteur Report From, Press TV, Link, Ghani ordered that flags at a military base in Mazar-i-Sharif be flown at half mast on Sunday in memory of the troops who died there in a Taliban attack on Friday.
The Afghan president arrived in Mazar-i-Sharif on Saturday to visit the base, the headquarters of the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps, which is responsible for security in much of northern Afghanistan.
About 10 Taliban militants, who were dressed in Afghan army uniforms and driving military vehicles, infiltrated into the base and opened fire on mostly unarmed soldiers eating and leaving a mosque after Friday prayers, according to officials.
The militants used rocket-propelled grenades, rifles, and explosive vests in the fierce attack, which lasted for hours until special forces arrived.
Ghani held an emergency meeting with senior security officials and called for a “serious” investigation.
In a statement online, he condemned the attack as “cowardly” and the work of “infidels.”
This was the deadliest Taliban operation of its kind.
The Afghan Defense Ministry has said more than 100 died or were injured in the attack. Media reports have put the death toll at 140.
A spokesman for the Taliban claimed on Saturday that the operation had been revenge for the recent killing of several senior Taliban leaders in northern Afghanistan.
In related news, the US military command in Kabul confirmed on Sunday that Quari Tayib, the Taliban’s self-proclaimed governor of Takhar Province, and eight other militants, had been killed in a US airstrike in the Archi district of the northern Kunduz Province on April 17.
More than 15 years have gone by since US-led forces invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban regime. Currently thousands of foreign troops are stationed in bases across Afghanistan.
US General Joseph Votel, who is in charge of military operations in the Middle East, has asked for even more troops to be deployed to Afghanistan.
Yet, insecurity lingers, and acts of terrorism continue to take a toll on the Afghan government and people.