80 die in Afghan army base attack
KABUL: At least 80 persons were killed and many injured when Taliban militants attacked an Afghan army base in Balkh province, the media reported on Saturday.
Most of the deceased in the Friday attack at 209 Shaheen Corps base, one of the largest military bases in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, were army personnel, Tolo News quoted army officials as saying.
The Taliban group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said militants wearing army uniforms stormed the compound during Friday prayers.
According to him, they entered the base in a military vehicle and began shooting at the soldiers as they prayed at a mosque in the compound.
A spokesman for the base said 10 militants were killed in the attack.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has reaffirmed its support to the Afghan forces.
"I strongly condemn today's (Friday) barbaric attack in Balkh Province," NATO Senior Civilian Representative Ambassador Zimmermann said.
"NATO stands with our Afghan friends and partners as they continue their fight against terrorism," he said.
It is the second major attack on an Afghan military installation in 2017.
The Taliban in March attacked Sardar Mohammad Daoud military hospital here killing at least 50 persons.