WORLD


Afghan defense minister, army chief of staff resign over military base attack

Baku, April 24, AZERTAC

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accepted on Monday the resignation of the defense minister and army chief of staff after more than 140 government soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on an army base last week, the president’s office said, according to Hindustan Times.

“Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect,” the presidential palace announced in a post on its Twitter account.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, acting spokesman for Ghani, told Reuters the resignations were because of Friday’s attack in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

It was not immediately clear who would replace Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim.

The attack — the biggest ever by the Taliban on a military base in Afghanistan — involved multiple gunmen and suicide bombers in army uniforms who penetrated the compound of the 209th Corps of the Afghan National Army in northern Balkh province on Friday, killing and wounding scores.

Ten gunmen dressed in soldiers’ uniforms and armed with suicide vests entered the base in army trucks and opened fire at unarmed troops at close range in the mosque and dining hall.

At least 140 soldiers were killed and many wounded, an official in the city said on Saturday. Other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher.

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