Taliban kills more than 140 Afghan soldiers in suicide assault

 

Can we have the envelope, please?

And the winner is?

 

Yesterday, when the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that his fighters killed more than 100 soldiers in a complex suicide assault of the Afghan National Army’s 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters near the provincial capital of Mazar-i-Sharif, his claim was dismissed as routine inflation of battlefield casualties.

Today, Zabihullah’s boast has become reality, possibly making it the most deadly Taliban attack on a military installation in nearly five years.

Afghan officials are reporting that more than 140 Afghan soldiers are believed to have been killed, and that number may rise. From Reuters:

 

One official in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the attack occurred, said on Saturday at least 140 soldiers were killed and many others wounded. Other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the government has yet to release exact casualty figures.

 

 

The defense ministry said more than 100 soldiers were killed or wounded.

The suicide assault was carried out by 10 Taliban fighters dressed as Afghan policemen, according to Reuters. According to the Taliban, four of them were Afghan security personnel who had “infiltrated” the ranks. Mujahid also posted a photograph he claimed was the assault team (see above).

In a statement released today by Taliban spokesman Mujahid that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, he claimed that “among these mujahideen, four of them were soldiers who infiltrated the enemy ranks, where they served as soldiers inside the Shaheen Corps headquarters for a long time, waiting for the zero hour.”

Yesterday’s raid may have been one of the most effective Taliban attacks on a military installation in Afghanistan since Sept. 2012, when a team of fighters penetrated security at Camp Bastion in Helmand province and destroyed six USMC Harriers and damaged two others, and killed two US marines, including the Harrier squadron commander.

After the Camp Bastion attack, the US military said the Taliban team “appeared to be well-equipped, trained and rehearsed.” The same could likely be said the attack on the Afghan National Army’s 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters, given the decimation.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

THE END

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One thought on “Taliban kills more than 140 Afghan soldiers in suicide assault

  1. The cause of the Mujahideen began with a noble purpose-to defend the people and land of Afghanistan from the Russians- who invaded that nation back in 1979. Now almost 40 years later, the original freedom fighters are dead and their remnants have long since splintered into warring factions which eventually gave birth to the notorious Taliban.

    I think this latest skirmish is actually part of a power grab between the different ethnic-religious groups which comprise the Afghani people. This internal conflict, better known as tribal warfare, has been going on there for many years. What I cannot understand is why America ever became involved there in the first place.

    Is it for oil or for dope?

    Afghanistan not only has oil under the soil, but is one of the world’s biggest growers of opium poppies. Was this the real reason behind the 1979 invasion by the then Soviet Union?

    This is my own speculation on the situation there, but what else could be the reason why they (the Russians) and later America (although I also believe the CIA had set up operations there shortly before or after the Russians) have fought such a long and bloody, not to mention unwinnable battle, in that godforsaken land in the first place? America’s subsequent invasion into that central Asian nation shortly after September 11th was never really about tracking down the notorious terror mastermind Osama Bin Ladin and his gang of cutthroat followers, I am pretty certain about that!

    Is this the real reason why our brave military heroes have been sent there- to keep the oil and the dope from falling into the wrong hands- with far too many of our servicemen needlessly suffering grievous injuries, or being killed in battle, or made to suffer the fatal repercussions of betrayal by deserters like Taliban wannabee “Bowe” Bergdahl, just so big oil and big pharm and their investors walking in the unhallowed halls of power in Washington DC and elsewhere can profit off the spilled blood of their ultimate sacrifice?

    Like

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