Two days after a group of more than 20 Taliban fighters launched a coordinated attack on 215 Maiwand Corps, called Shorab Airbase by Afghan forces, in Helmand province, military affairs analysts said the incident was a result of intelligent failure by relevant departments.
The Ministry of Defense has not provided any details about the nature of the attack and other questions that how the gunmen managed to enter the facility.
Sources said the attack, which continued for up to 38 hours, left 50 dead and almost 40 others wounded. However, a statement issued by Ministry of Defense says at least 23 soldiers were killed in the attack.
An Afghan Army officer, Abdul Mannan, who says he has once served at the base, said it is almost impossible for anyone to enter the camp without having support from elements inside the compound.
“It is very much difficult for me and for you to enter the base, but it is surprising that armed men made their way into the compound. I have served there for many years. Despite that, I am not able to recognize all parts of it,” he said.
“The nature of the attack shows that some people took them inside,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former Deputy Minister of Interior. “We cannot predict something else except this.”
The attack started at 2am on Friday. Sixteen hours after the attack, the Ministry of Defense announced that it has ended. However, it continued for another 16 hours as according to sources, some of the attacker had hidden behind and inside some armored vehicles at one corner of the base.
“Our intelligence agencies should have been aware of such an attack and should have been prepared to thwart it,” said Gul Hai Khan, a military analyst.
Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack.