#Taliban #militants disguised in military uniforms drove past checkpoints of the largest military installation in #afghanistan to gun down hundreds of unarmed soldiers. They were on their way to lunch after completing their Friday prayers when the incident took place on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, believed to be one of the safer cities in the country.

The attacks went on for nearly five hours and unconfirmed reports indicate the loss of lives at around 140. This is labeled as the single deadliest known attack on an Afghan military base in the country’s 16-year war. There were 10 militants and some of them turned into human bombs and blew themselves up among the soldiers who were fleeing for their lives.

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The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack and have released details of the ten militants who had participated in the massacre.

Reasons behind the attack

New York Times reports that Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of the NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan has requested the United States to send additional American soldiers to assist in training Afghan recruits. This is an indication of the way the Afghan military is faltering. So far, Afghan security forces have lost more than 6,700 members in 2016. This is a record high and nearly thrice the total number of American casualties.

The country is the battleground of both the ISIS and the Taliban and the United States took action against the ISIS by using a bomb to destroy a cave complex from where they were operating. However, the Taliban continues to remain the main threat In Afghanistan.

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Where is the solution?

Afghanistan has been a trouble spot for quite some time with US troops alongside NATO troops assisting the local military and administration to tackle the menace posed by the militant groups. Taliban fighters have increased their reach in the countryside in the last couple of years and are now posing a threat to the cities. Afghan forces have taken the brunt of the attack and have suffered serious casualties because of various factors like indecisive leadership and corruption.

Rahmatullah Nabil, the former head of the Afghan intelligence service, sums up the situation by saying that the enemy has more people in their units. Simultaneously, the speed of decision making has deteriorated and the Taliban takes advantage of these drawbacks.

President Ashraf Ghani visited the army base after the attack and declared a national day of mourning. He has also given orders for an investigation to identify insiders who might have abetted the massacre. This has been indicated by Atta Muhammad Noor, the provincial governor.