Afghan officials: 100 casualties in Afghanistan attack

Afghan officials: 100 casualties in Afghanistan attack

Afghan officials: 100 casualties in Afghanistan attack

After detonating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, militants killed eight soldiers and wounded 11 others at the base, which houses the Afghan National Army's 209th Corps and presides over much of northern Afghanistan. "So far we have counted eight dead and 11 wounded, all military, there are no civilian casualties".

"Terrorist groups, in recent weeks, had no place to rest, from Achin [eastern district where the US dropped the biggest ever non-nuclear bomb on ISIL terrorists] to Baghlan [where Taliban's shadow governor was killed in this northern province], the militants have been the target of security and defense forces".

"In recent years, at a period of our maximum effort, we didn't have as reliable a partner in the Afghan government as we would've liked", McMaster said.

"Our fighters have inflicted heavy casualties on the Afghan army stationed there", he said.

"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.

The NATO Resolute Support Mission also condemned the attack, calling it reprehensible. A provincial political leader, reached by phone, said that at one point during the battle, the base had run out of coffins.

"One of the attackers blew himself up, and others went and took up positions in a small room next to the mosque", he said.

The militants entered the building with a military vehicle and began shooting at the soldiers as they prayed in the compound's mosque, he added.

Afghan commandos from elsewhere on the base arrived and engaged the attackers, eventually killing or capturing all of them, Zabihullah said.

The latest violence came a month after suicide bombers assaulted the country's largest military hospital in the Afghan capital, killing about 40 people and wounding dozens more. Four of the attackers were Taliban sympathisers who had infiltrated the army and served for some time, Mujahid said.

Afghan security forces, beset by killings, desertions and non-existent "ghost soldiers" on the payroll, have been struggling to beat back insurgents since US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops ended their combat mission in December 2014.

Balkh is among Afghanistan's relatively peaceful and prosperous provinces.