Afghanistan base militants attack

An Afghan official says more than 100 army personnel have been killed or wounded after gunmen wearing army uniforms stormed a military compound in Balkh province.

One official in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, where the attack occurred, said on Saturday at least 140 soldiers were killed and many others wounded. When it was over the two suicide bombers and eight other attackers were dead.

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

Insurgents targeted those leaving Friday prayers at the base's mosque and others in a canteen, the army said.

However, one Afghan officer claimed the death toll could be as high as 150.

Eight soldiers were killed and 11 were wounded, he said.

Pakistan has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a military base in Balkh province in Afghanistan, which resulted in the loss of precious lives.

A presidential spokesman confirmed to VOA President Ashraf Ghani left Kabul for Mazar-i-Sharif on Saturday to discuss and review the post-violence situation with provincial authorities. Nicholson said the coalition faces "a shortfall of a few thousand troops" to break the "stalemate". "They came out and opened fire with Kalashnikovs", said a bodyguard at the base, asking not to be named.

U.S. military spokesman, John Thomas, described the attack as "significant" and lauded the actions of the Afghan soldiers in bringing "the atrocity to an end".

Waziri said that as the attackers approached the base, one of them had an IV in his arm.

"The majority of our soldiers were offering Friday prayers" at the time of the assault, the ministry said in a statement, adding that "over 100 Afghan army forces were martyred and wounded".

"They are getting closer to our building and shooting anyone they see", a medical staffer of the 209th Shaheen Military Corps told DW only minutes after the attack on the army base had started.

German forces have long led the worldwide mission in northern Afghanistan.

In a statement, Ministry of External Affairs said that India remained steadfast in its support to Afghanistan in fighting all forms of terrorism. "The Afghan Special Forces brought the attack to an end", Salvin said.

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