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Afghan defence chiefs resign over Taliban attack

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Afghanistan’s defence minister and army chief of staff have resigned in the wake of a Taliban attack that left scores of soldiers dead.

The attack happened on Friday at an army base near Mazar-e Sharif.

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

The BBC reports that it was the Taliban’s deadliest attack on the armed forces since it was removed from power in 2001.

The resignations coincided with the arrival of United States Defence Secretary, Jim Mattis, on an unannounced visit to Kabul.

He is due to meet both Afghan officials and U.S troops.

A group of Taliban insurgents dressed in Afghan military uniforms and driving military vehicles made their way into the base in the northern city and opened fire.

Many of those who died were young recruits training at the base.

Witnesses described chaotic scenes as the young soldiers struggled to work out who was friend or foe.

The attackers were armed with guns, grenades and some were wearing suicide vests, reports said. The defence ministry said the attackers were all killed.

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