Credible sources have disclosed the death toll in Friday’s deadly attack on the Balkh military base was over 250.
While Afghans continue to reel from the Taliban’s deadly attack on 209 Shaheen Corps in the northern province of Balkh, the Afghan government has been accused of hiding the truth about Friday’s bloodbath.
Sources however have told TOLOnews that the number of casualties was much higher than the figure announced by government.
Based on information gathered from different sources, so far the identity of 256 soldiers from ten provinces have been confirmed.
According to credible sources in Kabul and other provinces so far it is known that 68 soldiers from Badakhshan were killed, 50 soldiers from Nangarhar, 40 soldiers from Baghlan, 33 from Takhar, 24 from Uruzgan, 18 from Helmand, 13 from Kunduz, five from Samangan, three from Kabul and two soldiers from Parwan.
Sources have said that many more died – including soldiers from Laghman, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces.
“Unfortunately our wounded soldiers increased the level of our casualties. This is the main reason for the rising casualties. Soldiers were participating in Friday prayers,” said former army chief of staff Qadam Shah Shaheem, who stepped down on Monday following the attack.
According to sources, government decided to withhold the actual death toll.
“The people want information and government must respond; what government talks about is general information,” said Nasir Taimoori, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
“The government has always lied the people of Afghanistan, but this time Allah revealed his curse on them, we all know that initially government put the death toll at eight people,” said MP Arif Rahmani.
On Friday, ten Taliban insurgents all dressed in full military gear stormed the largest military base in the north. Three of them were suicide bombers and managed to gain access to where hundreds of soldiers had gathered. Most of the soldiers had been unarmed at the time.
Sources also said that the majority of victims were new recruits who had only recently joined the army.
Meanwhile a senior diplomatic source said: “If soldiers are killed inside your military base and you cannot count it, it makes you look even worse.”