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Taliban target Afghan National Army soldiers at prayer at Balkh province military base

Taliban fighters attacked an Afghan National Army base in Balkh province on April 21, killing dozens of soldiers in a mosque and others in a dining facility.

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said the militants targeted the 209th Corps headquarters near the provincial capital Mazar-i Sharif.

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.

Gen. John Nicholson, NATO Resolute Support Mission

US Central Command spokesperson Col. John Thomas said Afghan forces, government forces and Afghan civilians were likely on the base.

As many as 70 people were killed, according to reporters.

On April 22, the New York Times reported that as many as 140 soldiers were killed in the attack.

Hours after President Ashraf Ghani said the attackers were killed, the Taliban said it was ongoing.

Defense Ministry spokesperson Daulat Waziri said the attackers entered the base in a military vehicle and wore army uniforms.

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