The deadliest ever Taliban attack on Afghan forces was a stunning surprise later, this Friday. Taliban forces in the Balkh province of northern Afghanistan attacked the headquarters of the 209 corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA). According to official sources, the death toll has reached 130. According to BBC, Taliban has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
Taliban insurgents attacked the soldiers who were just returning from the mosque after performing Juma prayers. According to the sources, Taliban suicide bombers were dressed in the army uniforms. All the 10 attackers have been killed and the ANA 209 corps headquarters is now clear. At least 2 of the attackers blew themselves up while the rest were neutralized after hours of the fierce gunbattle.
DW has confirmed that the death toll has reached to 140. According to DW, most of injured are in serious conditions and the death toll can rise any moment. The injured were shifted to the hospital in military helicopters. Ambulances were seen rushing to the spot immediately after the incident. DW quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying that this attack was in retaliation for the killing of many leading Taliban leaders in the Northern Afghanistan recently.
John Thomson, a spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan was quoted by BBC as saying that the attack was symbolic but he praised the ANA forces who repelled the attack. The attackers also targetted a nearby canteen used by the army personnel inside the headquarters.
This is the largest loss inflicted on the Afghan National army by the Taliban forces. The scope of destruction has raised many questions on the preparedness and security situation in Afghanistan. According to military analysts, this kind situation can only be termed as the complete failure of security apparatus. The infiltration of 10 Taliban insurgents in a corps headquarter and then killing 130 trained soldiers like ducks is disastrous.
The 10 infiltrators fought for hours killing and injuring hundreds of trained and qualified soldiers armed with latest arms and heavily fortified. The spokesman for the Afghan National Army told the reporters confirmed that Taliban attackers targeted a mosque and a canteen. Most of the Northern Afghanistan is the responsibility of 209 corps including the volatile Kunduz province.
According to news sources, many foreign forces belonging to the US and Germany were also present in the headquarters during the attack. The fat of the foreign soldiers cannot be ascertained at the moment as all news sources are silent about the issue.