The National Unity Government’s CEO Abdullah Abdullah condemned Friday’s attack against the Afghan National Army’s 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters in Balkh province and called it a cowardly attack.
“(The) attack on holy places is forbidden in every belief, what Taliban did in Mazar today was against all values. I condemn this coward attack,” Abdullah tweeted.
More than 80 people, most of them army personnel, were killed and many others wounded during a four-hour gun battle inside one of the largest military bases in the country, sources said.
As many as 10 insurgents managed to penetrate multiple layers of security at the camp and opened fire on soldiers in a mosque and in the diningroom. The attack was launched at about 1.30pm on Friday.
Former President Hamid Karzai also condemned Friday’s attack and said on twitter: “I condemn in strongest terms the terrorist attack on our military base in Mazar-e-Sharif that killed and wounded many of our brave soldiers.”
Meanwhile NATO Resolute Support Mission strongly condemned the Taliban attack and called it reprehensible.
According to a statement General John Nicholson, Commander, NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, said the “attack on the 209th Corps today shows the barbaric nature of the Taliban. They killed soldiers at prayer in a mosque and others in a dining facility.
“All of us at the NATO Resolute Support Mission condemn such murderous and reprehensible actions,” he said.
“The Afghan National Defence and Security forces and the people of Afghanistan have my personal assurance that we will continue to stand with them. We support our valuable friends and partners in the fight against terrorism,” the statement read.
The attack happened just two days after Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi visited the base during a trip to Balkh.
Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.