MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan — Survivors of a lethal Taliban assault on an Afghan army base described leaping from home windows to flee gunmen capturing troopers as they prayed, as grieving households Saturday collected coffins draped within the Afghan flag.
Afghan officers have mentioned greater than 100 troopers have been killed or wounded within the assault on the base exterior the northern metropolis of Mazar-e-Sharif Friday, the most recent and doubtlessly deadliest in a string of assaults on army targets.
READ: Afghan officers: Gunmen attacked military base, 100 useless or wounded
Survivors who spoke to AFP in hospital mentioned the gunmen have been disguised as troopers, used suicide vests and heavy machine weapons, and shot unarmed troopers at shut vary within the base’s mosque.
“We were having lunch when an army truck pulled over near us with four men who looked like our soldiers,” 22-year-old Zabiullah, who was wounded within the shoot-out, advised AFP.
“Two of them with suicide vests jumped out of the car, entered the dining room and started shooting. The other two started shooting with a heavy machine gun on top of the truck,” he mentioned.
Mohammad Qurban, a 19-year-old trainee officer who was wounded in his hand and waist, advised AFP many victims have been shot at shut vary.
‘They killed my friends’
“Their leader was telling them ‘aim for their heads’. They killed a lot of my friends, I jumped out of a window to survive,” he mentioned.
An Afghan military source on the base advised AFP the death toll could possibly be as excessive as 150, and mentioned most of the troopers have been younger recruits there for coaching.
“They entered the compound using two army trucks with machine guns on top of them. They opened fire on everyone. And then they entered the mosque and dining room, killing everyone indiscriminately,” Mohammad Hussain, a military officer wounded within the attack, mentioned.
The attack underscores rising insecurity as Afghanistan braces for an intense spring preventing season.
Afghan safety forces, beset by killings and desertions, have been struggling to beat again insurgents since US-led NATO troops ended their fight mission in December 2014.
The protection ministry mentioned Saturday it has launched an investigation, and can present extra info when that’s accomplished.
Families of the victims gathered exterior the base Saturday as troopers carried out coffins in pairs, and handed them over to ready relations.
Many vented their anger at safety officers for failing to guard their family members.
“Three months ago I sent my son to join the army… today they are giving me his dead body,” the tearful, indignant father of one soldier killed contained in the base advised AFP, declining to be named. CBB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get entry to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & different 70+ titles, share as much as 5 devices, hearken to the information, obtain as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.