Millennium Post

Afghan defence minister and Army Chief resign over deadly Taliban attack

Afghan defence minister and Army Chief resign over deadly Taliban attack
Afghanistan's defense minister and military chief have both resigned following Friday's deadliest ever attack on a major army base that killed at least 140 soldiers and wounded many more. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the raid on the Afghan National Army's 209th Shaheen Corps in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Afghan President President Ashraf Ghani's office, in a brief announcement on Monday, said, "Defence Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect" and the president has accepted their resignations. Habibi later told a joint news conference with Shahim at the defense ministry that they resigned on their own and were not forced to do so. "Following sacrifices our men are rendering (in this fight), I am also morally bound to resign in the national interest and set an example for my successors so they will also show moral courage and do the same for resolving issues facing them in the future,country," Habibi later told a joint news conference with Shahim at the defense ministry Afghan officials and witnesses said that a group of ten heavily armed suicide bombers attacked and carried out the massacre just when hundreds of soldiers and officers were about to finish afternoon prayers in a mosque located deep inside the highly fortified facility. Authorities have so far declined to confirm the number of casualties. The government observed day of national mourning on Sunday in honor of the deceased soldiers. Unnamed security officials and politicians in the capital city of relatively peaceful Balkh province claim the death toll could be as high as at least 180 and said special forces were also among them.

The government observed day of national mourning on Sunday in honor of the deceased soldiers. Unnamed security officials and politicians in the capital city of relatively peaceful Balkh province claim the death toll could be as high as at least 180 and said special forces were also among them.

Habibi later told a joint news conference with Shahim at the defense ministry that they resigned on their own and were not forced to do so. "Following sacrifices our men are rendering (in this fight), I am also morally bound to resign in the national interest and set an example for my successors so they will also show moral courage and do the same for resolving issues facing them in the future,country," Habibi later told a joint news conference with Shahim at the defense ministry Afghan officials and witnesses said that a group of ten heavily armed suicide bombers attacked and carried out the massacre just when hundreds of soldiers and officers were about to finish afternoon prayers in a mosque located deep inside the highly fortified facility. Authorities have so far declined to confirm the number of casualties. The government observed day of national mourning on Sunday in honor of the deceased soldiers. Unnamed security officials and politicians in the capital city of relatively peaceful Balkh province claim the death toll could be as high as at least 180 and said special forces were also among them.
A presidential spokesman said an investigation was underway. AGENCIES
Agencies

Agencies

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