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Afghan attack casualties hit 100

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More than 100 Afghan soldiers were killed or wounded in a Taliban attack on an army base on Friday, the defence ministry has confirmed.

Fighting lasted several hours near the city of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Balkh province, the BBC reports.

Insurgents targeted those leaving Friday prayers at the base’s mosque and others in a canteen, the army said.

The Taliban said in a statement they had carried out the attack, using suicide bombers to breach defences.

Earlier estimates put the death toll as high as 134, but a statement from the defence ministry on Saturday gave a figure of about 100 killed or injured.

At least 10 Taliban militants were killed in the fighting and one attacker was detained.

The Taliban fighters wore army uniforms and drove through military checkpoints before launching the raid, a military spokesman said.

United States military spokesman, John Thomas, described the attack as a “significant” strike, but he praised the Afghan commandos for bringing the “atrocity to an end.”

The base at Mazar-e-Sharif is home to the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps, responsible for providing security to most of northern Afghanistan, including Kunduz province – which has seen heavy recent fighting.

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